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Tuesday, 5 May 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Protection of animals at the time of killing (debate)

  Maria Petre (PPE-DE).(RO) I would first of all like to congratulate the rapporteur and thank him for the approachability he has shown.

I agree with the Commission’s proposals stipulating that animals must be killed only using a method which ensures immediate death or after stunning, while accepting however as an exception slaughter as part of religious rituals. I also support this regulation not being applied either in the case of animals being slaughtered for personal consumption, in keeping with the traditions of major religious festivities, such as Easter and Christmas, and only for a period of 10 days prior to when these festivities take place.

Staff involved in slaughter and other related activities must attend suitable training courses which are carried out in the normal way, with a certificate of competence being awarded.

The European regulations introduced in the area of animal protection are among the most stringent in the world. They result in higher production costs and may also distort competition with states whose legislation is less strict in this respect. This is why I call on the Commission to ensure that meat products or other products of animal origin imported from non­EU countries meet European standards. What we would like to see is for the Commission to be able to carry out inspections in abattoirs authorised to export their products to the European Union, confirming that, in addition to the health certificates already awarded, regulations on animal protection are also being respected.

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