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Parliamentary questions
6 August 2012
P-007043/2012
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has not carried out a comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of Directive 98/58/EC(1) in protecting dairy cows from the key welfare problems identified (e.g. genetic selection for high milk yields) by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its scientific opinion on the overall effects of farming systems on dairy cow welfare and disease(2). However, the Commission plans to look how the general welfare requirements of Directive 98/58/EC and those of the recommendation of the Council of Europe concerning cattle(3), are applied within Member States.

EFSA on the issue of the welfare of dairy cows adopted in December 2011 a scientific opinion on the use of animal-based measures to assess the welfare of dairy cows(4).

The Commission has adopted an EU strategy for protection and welfare of animals 2012-2015(5) which envisages the possibility of proposing a general legislative framework on animal welfare (‘animal welfare law’). This new approach would aim in particular at improving education of farmers on animal welfare and at using tools such as animal-based measures to identify and improve the welfare situation in their farms, including dairy farms. The practicalities of the implementation of such measures also need to be taken into account.

(1)OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23.
(2)http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1143.htm
(3)http://wayback.archive-it.org/1365/20090215072811/http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/legal_cooperation/biological_safety%2C_use_of_animals/farming/Rec%20cattle%20E.asp
(4)http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2554.htm
(5)http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/actionplan/docs/aw_strategy_19012012_en.pdf

OJ C 219 E, 31/07/2013
Last updated: 7 August 2012Legal notice