Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 115 Bairbre de Brún, Alfreds Rubiks, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Subject: Eggs from non-compliant cages
From 1 January 2012, the use of ‘conventional cages’ for laying hens will be banned in accordance with Directive 1999/74/EC.
Commissioner Dalli, when addressing the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 5 October 2011, admitted that many countries will not have fully done away with these ‘unenriched’ cages by that deadline. It was also confirmed that some Member States had not provided any data regarding their compliance, and that Spain in particular had asked for the deadline to be extended until 2014. It is therefore likely that not all Member States will comply with the directive by the above deadline.
Failure to properly implement this directive will not only distort trade between compliant and non-compliant Member States, but also have serious animal rights implications.
1. When will data be available on the progress of all Member States in this area?
2. What plans does the Commission have to ensure that eggs from non-compliant cages, including eggs from third countries, are not put on the market?
3. Given that infringement proceedings are often lengthy, how will the Commission deal with non-compliant Member States in the short-term?
4. What implications does it foresee for the internal market if some Member States are still using illegal, cheaper methods to produce eggs as of 1 January 2012? What will the trade distortions be?
5. What progress has been made in this area since Commissioner Dalli last addressed the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development?