Koko teksti 
Menettely : 2023/2692(RSP)
Elinkaari istunnossa
Asiakirjan elinkaari : O-000014/2023

Käsiteltäväksi jätetyt tekstit :

O-000014/2023 (B9-0017/2023)

Keskustelut :

PV 11/05/2023 - 11
CRE 11/05/2023 - 11

Äänestykset :

Hyväksytyt tekstit :

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Torstai 11. toukokuuta 2023 - Strasbourg Lopullinen versio

11. Kanan- ja ankanpoikasten tappamisen kieltäminen unionin lainsäädännössä (keskustelu)
Puheenvuorot videotiedostoina

  President. – The next item is the debate on the oral question to the Commission on prohibiting chick and duckling killing in EU law tabled by Sirpa Pietikäinen, Günther Sidl, Thomas Waitz, Andreas Schieder, Pascal Arimont, Emil Radev, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Michaela Šojdrová, Markéta Gregorová, Margrete Auken, Marcel Kolaja, Niels Fuglsang, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Henna Virkkunen, Heidi Hautala, Raphaël Glucksmann, Benoît Biteau, Mounir Satouri, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Manon Aubry, Aurélia Beigneux, Sylvie Guillaume, Pierre Larrouturou, Pascal Durand, Nora Mebarek, Marina Mesure, Marie Toussaint, Eric Andrieu, Damien Carême, Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Tiemo Wölken, Martin Buschmann, Marion Walsmann, Maria Noichl, Manuela Ripa, Stelios Kouloglou, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Mick Wallace, Grace O'Sullivan, Frances Fitzgerald, Clare Daly, Ciarán Cuffe, Mario Furore, Laura Ferrara, Anna Bonfrisco, Petras Auštrevičius, Tilly Metz, Robert Biedroń, Sylwia Spurek, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Andrzej Halicki, Francisco Guerreiro, Isabel Carvalhais, Dacian Cioloş , Martin Hojsík, Michal Wiezik, Malin Björk, Helmut Geuking, Alviina Alametsä, Anja Hazekamp, Matjaž Nemec (O-000014/2023 – B9-0017/23) (2023/2692(RSP)).


  Sirpa Pietikäinen, author. – Madam President, Commissioner, European Union treaties state that animals are ‘sentient beings’ and the duty of the European Union is to look after their welfare and to protect them. This obligation and the acknowledgment of ‘sentient beings’ are the guidelines we should have and bear in mind when we are treating animals as production animals for food products.

We know that billions of male chickens and ducklings are being inhumanely slaughtered after birth every year throughout the EU by smashing them, by gasification or other equally brutal methodologies which we certainly wouldn’t approve for pigs or cows or, for that matter, cats or dogs if they happened to be the wrong sex.

This is wrong. This is unethical. And this is a huge waste of protein. With quite marginal extra cost, we could already scan through the eggs and decide to consume the eggs of male chickens instead of destroying chicklets just after they are born. Or we could raise them and use them as an animal protein, being young chicklets. There is no reason why we would not stop this inhumane process.

Madam President, this isn’t the only question. After we solve this one, we need to go back to the goats where almost the same procedure is in place. I hope that the Commission gives a due answer to this question: in what timeframe are you going to prohibit chick and duckling killing in the EU?


  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the systematic killing of millions of day—old chickens and day—old ducklings raises major ethical concerns for many people. These concerns are clearly shared by many of you in this Chamber.

Starting with the killing of day—old chicks, it is important to feed into our discussion the fact that Germany and France have already banned this practice, with other Member States examining the issue. The Commission is also looking at the option of phasing it out as part of our ongoing impact assessment for the revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation, an assessment which will also consider the challenging economic context, which for this particular sector chiefly means avoiding market distortion.

However, and even if this practice takes place under strict rules, we should ask ourselves whether purely economic reasons can justify such large scale, systematic killings. The experience in Germany and France can help us to understand the various aspects of such a ban, as well as the alternatives available.

The situation regarding the practice of killing female ducklings in the foie gras sector is rather different. This is so as it is limited to a few Member States that produce foie gras, including France, Hungary and Bulgaria, and none of these countries have banned or planned to ban it. The Commission therefore has no evidence of market distortion in this area that would justify EU intervention.

Furthermore, as you are aware, Treaty provisions on animal welfare refer to respecting national provisions and customs relating to cultural traditions and regional heritage. For these reasons, the Commission has not included a ban on killing female ducklings among its options for revising the EU’s animal welfare legislation.

Honourable Members, the global economic context has changed dramatically. Energy prices have soared and the prices of many commodities and goods, including food, have risen as well. We would therefore not be doing our duty to citizens if the impact assessment failed to consider this new economic context. As the Commission has said before, we are committed to proposing ambitious legislation that matches the latest science with social and economic realities.

Our discussions should hopefully provide the sector with the incentive to innovate, to embrace more ethical and sustainable production systems, and to reorient certain breeding and selection practices so that they benefit from new technologies.

At the same time, however, methods need to be reliable, cheap and passed to cope with a number of acts concerned. More research and development is therefore needed. Research into alternatives is ongoing and is making major progress. Of course, alternatives need to be compatible with sustainable production systems while fully considering the potential economic dimension. For example, some of the methods to detect the sex of embryos are now commercialised in the EU. Developing early sexing could reduce energy costs for hatching. This innovation could be a valuable asset that the rest of the world could be interested in buying.

Having said this, with the knowledge that we have at the present, it is very difficult to accurately predict when the industry could stop the killing of male chicks by using methods which are under development. Any ban would therefore require a transition period so that it is soundly developed and properly implemented.

Honourable Members, to conclude, let me assure you that the Commission will assess the short term and long-term challenges alike in order to be able to present you with a balanced and at the same time sustainable findings. I look forward for your views.


  Seán Kelly, on behalf of the PPE Group.A Uachtaráin, Commissioner Valdis, I must say, as a child, one of the great memories I have is my mother sending me on missions to neighbouring farms to get hatching hens, and getting a hatching hen and then watching the eggs hatch. And the absolute delight of seeing little chickens coming out of the hatched eggs and all cared for under the mother hen’s wings and growing into adulthood.

This is being denied by this horrible, barbaric practice where 300 million day-old male chicks are killed every year in the EU and 6.5 billion worldwide. And millions of female ducks are killed in the production of foie gras, as it’s called, a notoriously brutal part of the animal source food industry.

Selective breeding of egg-laying hens has increased egg productivity. However, the selection has also meant that male chicks no longer develop enough muscle to be used for meat. And although they are sentient creatures, as Sirpa pointed out, these young animals are therefore considered worthless. Their deaths often caused immense suffering, including via maceration, electrocution and asphyxiation.

This almost secretive practice of gassing and grinding chicks and ducklings must be prohibited under EU law, as the practice causes substantial suffering and also goes against Article 13 of the TFEU, which recognises animals as sentient beings. The EU must follow the positive steps taken by France, Germany, Austria and Italy in banning the cruel practice of killing chicks and ducklings. Our goal should be to obtain a total ban on the killing of chicks and ducklings in Europe. And this is in line with what the Commission found out when they did a public consultation. Of the 60 000 who responded, 94% said they want this practice to end and 82% said farm animals generally should be better protected.

Also, of course, there is now a technology available, which means that this practice is not necessary. In in-vitro, sexing can determine the sex of an egg prior to hatching. So this grinding and gassing has to stop. As Sirpa said, it’s an ethical issue, but I want to see young people, like myself many years ago, being able to joyfully watch young eggs being hatched, little chickens coming out and growing to maturity.


  Carmen Avram, în numele grupului S&D. – Doamna președintă, domnule vicepreședinte, pentru mine este uluitor că, în timp ce omenirea, în general, și europenii, în special, au ajuns la un nivel atât de înalt de dezvoltare și de sofisticare în tot ceea ce privește viața, noi aici abia acum dezbatem problema barbarismului care stă la baza uciderii puilor de o zi din crescătorii. Noi, care vorbim despre drepturi și ființe sentiente și creăm legislații tot mai dure pentru bunăstarea animalelor, nu am găsit calea de a opri aceste practici crude care duc la suferință pentru păsări și la pierderi financiare pentru producători.

Această temă nici măcar nu ar trebui să fie despre legislație. Este pur și simplu o problemă de ordin moral și de adaptare la noile realități. Este de neconceput să discutăm despre tehnici de producere a cărnii sintetice sau de ameliorare a plantelor, dar să neglijăm constant acest aspect al sacrificiului inutil și barbar al puilor de o zi.

Trebuie să fie clar: crescătorii europeni de păsări sunt ultimii care și-ar dori această suferință în businessul lor. Ei caută în permanență soluții, dar nu le găsesc și atunci au nevoie de ajutor de la Comisia Europeană pentru a putea accede la cele mai noi tehnologii, astfel încât să nu mai ajungă în situația de a ucide anual sute de milioane de puiuți.

Studiul metodelor alternative de determinare a sexului in ovo trebuie întețit și finanțat corespunzător din bani europeni. Implementarea pe scară largă a acestei tehnologii are și ea nevoie de subvenționare adecvată măcar câțiva ani. Trebuie creat un grup de dialog orizontal și transsectorial pentru găsirea unor piețe de desfacere a ouălor înainte, deci, ca puii să iasă. Eventual industria producătoare de vaccinuri le-ar putea folosi în scopuri nobile.

Mai este nevoie de ceva, domnule vicepreședinte, și anume de asumare politică, dacă vrem cu adevărat să rezolvăm această problemă. Buzunarul politicii agricole comune nu trebuie să fie singura soluție, iar finanțarea trebuie anunțată înaintea măsurilor legislative pentru predictibilitate. Altfel, riscăm să lovim iar un sector care oricum se confruntă cu mari dificultăți din pricina focarelor de gripă aviară și a cantităților mari de carne importate din țări terțe.


  Michal Wiezik, za skupinu Renew. – Pani predsedajúca, keď som prvýkrát videl dokument o zabíjaní jednodňových kuriatok, zostal som otrasený. Prirodzená tendencia chrániť drobné kuriatko bola konfrontovaná s drsnou realitou toho, ako ten malý pípajúci vtáčik bol hodený do mlynčeka a v zlomku sekundy rozdrtený. Jeden samček za druhým, polovica znášky len preto, že sa nehodili do chovu.

Dodnes si pamätám slová mojej ženy. Keby ich aspoň pobozkali pred tým, ako ich tam hodia. Mala slzy na krajíčku. A od toho momentu som presvedčený, že krutosť a utrpenie tejto praxe je niečo, s čím sa nikdy nevyrovnám.

Nemusíme pri tom hovoriť len o utrpení kuriatok. Tie pravdepodobne si ani neuvedomia, keď sa stanú rozsekané na kúsky. Nevedia, čo sa deje. Pri tomto akte ničenia vyliahnutého života ale trpia aj ľudia. Tí, ktorí sú účastní toho aktu. Aj tí, ktorí sú jeho svedkami. Pri tom pohľade trpí duša a do očí sa tlačia slzy. Niet divu, že ho pred verejnosťou skrývame. To ale problém nerieši, práve naopak, prehlbuje ho.

Good things happen, eventually. In 2021, both Germany and France passed a law on banning the practice of culling of male chicks from 2022. In Austria, killing of male chicks without a specific reason was recently banned. Luxembourg banned systematic destruction of chicks. In Italy the ban is expected to apply in 2026. France and Germany submitted a document to other agriculture ministers calling for the EU—wide chick-culling ban and we are very grateful for the response of the Commission, and Commissioner Kyriakides in particular, who is ready to propose to phase out this practice. This will most probably happen within the animal welfare legislation revision to be tabled this year.

Talking about improvements, the alternatives to chick-culling need to be stressed. First of all, we have the alternative to actually stop regarding male chicks a mere waste of the meat and industry. Let us exploit possibilities for raising males or switch to dual—purpose breeds that produce both meat and eggs. Yes, they all need adjustments and compensations. That is why sexing technologies to determine gender before eggs hatching represent the best workable solution. There is a number of safe methods incorporating biomarker method, PCR technology, MRI spectroscopy: these methods can distinguish between female and male hatching eggs from the ninth day of incubation. Their accuracy is way above 98% and they can process tens of thousands of eggs per hour.

Some new problems, however, have arisen which need to be tackled because the ban on chick—culling is not yet EU—wide. Hatcheries in countries where killing male chicks is forbidden started to export day-old chicks to kill them in neighbouring countries. It is not acceptable to add additional suffering by transportation to the killing itself to the day—old chicks. The EP must call on the Commission to propose an EU—wide ban with a minimal transition period in order to stop current disadvantage met by countries which decided to ban this cruelty.

The case of chicks being exported to be killed must warn us about the importance to have mirror clauses. Should an EU—wide ban be adopted it should include the prohibition of export of live chicks meant for elimination and a prohibition to import eggs or hens which have not been sexed. I firmly believe we have to broaden the ban also on one—day—old ducklings which suffer the same way due to the production of foie gras. If we are to reduce suffering both of animals and those who witness this cruel practice, we have no more time to waste. It is normal to protect a freshly hatched bird. It is normal to be humane. Let us act now. All we need is love and compassion.


  Tilly Metz, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, first of all, I am happy that we speak about animal welfare, but I would be also happy if we do not always do it in the Thursday afternoon when nobody is there to listen anymore at all. But I will switch to German now.

Das Töten von Eintagsküken ist eine inhumane Praxis, die immenses Leid verursacht und gegen die im EU-Recht verankerten Grundgesetze des Tierschutzes verstößt. Ich halte es für inakzeptabel, dass die Industrie bis heute an dieser grausamen Praxis festhält und dass die aktuellen EU-Tierschutznormen das Schreddern und das Vergasen überhaupt noch zulassen. Auch EFSA hat sich hierzu bereits 2019 klar ausgedrückt: Stoppt das Schreddern! Denn es gibt bereits, und sie wurden erwähnt, Technologien zur Geschlechtsbestimmung in ovo, die diese grausame Praxis völlig unnötig machen.

Ich möchte der Kommission hier mit dem Blick auf die anstehende Überarbeitung der EU-Tierschutzstandards eine ganz einfache Frage stellen. Es wurde bereits von Ihnen im Oktober 2022 angesprochen: Werden Sie wirklich ein explizites EU-weites Verbot der Tötung von Eintagsküken vorschlagen? Angesichts der überwältigenden Forderungen der europäischen Bürgerinnen und Bürger nach konsequentem Tierschutz darf die Antwort hier nur Ja sein, und das sofort – nicht noch mit langen Transitions- und Übergangsphasen.


  Anna Zalewska, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Żyjemy w czasach rosnącej empatii i świadomości tego, w jaki sposób hodujemy zwierzęta, w jaki sposób zajmujemy się zwierzętami. Dlatego każda inicjatywa społeczna, która dostrzega problem, chce go rozstrzygnąć, powinna być witana jako dobra, jako pretekst do dyskusji.

Natomiast musimy być odpowiedzialni. Musimy zbadać każdy przypadek. Musimy przeanalizować obowiązujące przepisy, jak również to, w jaki sposób wesprzeć przedsiębiorców, by ich hodowla, by ich produkcja była akceptowalna społecznie – jeżeli chodzi z jednej strony o dobrostan zwierząt, a z drugiej strony o to, w jaki sposób będą ponosić koszty lub też koszty przerzucać na konsumentów.

Dlatego cieszę się z takiego wyważonego stanowiska pana komisarza, który mówi o przeglądzie, o analizie, ale podkreśla też, w jakich czasach żyjemy: w czasach rosnących kosztów żywności, rosnących kosztów energii (tak naprawdę nie jesteśmy w stanie ocenić, kiedy one się skończą), w czasie wojny.

Padło tu sformułowanie, że Niemcy i Francja mają metody, mają sposoby, że już wprowadzają ten zakaz. Może rzeczywiście warto porozmawiać o metodach, porozmawiać o tym, w jaki sposób Niemcy i Francuzi wdrażają innowacje, które służą hodowli. Dlatego że chciałabym, żebyśmy nie zostali tutaj z takim wrażeniem, że oto Niemcy i Francuzi wymyślili, mają swój pomysł i chcą na Europejczykach zarobić.


  Joachim Kuhs, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, werte Kollegen! Heute, am Donnerstagnachmittag, besprechen wir mal wieder mit den bekannten Gesichtern ein Thema, bei dem wir uns ziemlich einig sind, denn keiner von uns findet das Töten von Eintagsküken schön oder sinnvoll. Aber bei aller Harmonie am Donnerstagnachmittag erlauben Sie mir bitte, Frau Präsidentin, dass ich kurz eine Anmerkung zu diesen Debatten am Donnerstagnachmittag mache: Ich fände es ehrlicher, wenn wir uns auch an diesem Tag mit den noch wichtigeren Themen befassen, nämlich z. B. dem millionenfachen Töten von ungeborenem menschlichen Leben im Mutterleib. Dass wir es nicht schaffen, darüber auch am Donnerstagnachmittag eine ernsthafte Debatte zu führen, das ist in meinen Augen ein Armutszeugnis für dieses Haus, das ist meines Erachtens eine Schande.

Doch zurück zum heutigen Thema. Ja, das Töten von Eintagsküken ist eine grausame Praxis. Und wenn meine Enkelkinder mit Hühner- oder Entenküken spielen, dann erscheint der maschinelle Tod für diese kleinen, fluffigen Geschöpfe noch grausamer, geradezu unmenschlich zu sein. Wir alle wünschen und fordern ein schnelles Ende dieser Praxis.

Wenn jedoch von interessierten Gruppen dieses Thema mit fadenscheinigen Gründen des Klimaschutzes missbraucht wird, um ein Verbot des gesamten Geflügelsektors zu fordern, dann ist das einfach nur heuchlerisch und komplett daneben. Wussten Sie eigentlich, dass die CO2-Emissionen des Geflügelsektors im Vergleich zu den negativen Emissionen beim massiven Abholzen von Wäldern zur Herstellung von Eiweiß aus Soja verblassen? Und sind Sie sich bewusst, dass ein Verbot des Geflügelsektors in Europa das Leiden dieser Tiere nur verschlimmern würde, da dann Geflügelprodukte aus Ländern wie Thailand, Vietnam, China oder Indien importiert würden, also aus Ländern, in denen es im Vergleich zu Deutschland oder Belgien oder Frankreich, oder nennen Sie irgendein Land, überhaupt keine Tierschutzstandards gibt?

Wir müssen uns die Fakten genau ansehen, und wir müssen Entscheidungen treffen, die auf Vernunft und Logik basieren. Ja, das industrielle Töten von Eintagsküken muss beendet werden, da sind wir uns alle einig. Aber ein Verbot des Geflügelsektors wäre sicher keine Lösung.


  Niels Fuglsang (S&D). – Fru formand! Kommissær! Ærede kolleger! Jeg har skrevet to taler i dag. De ligner hinanden. På den ene er der et par stavefejl og måske et par passager, der ikke egner sig til denne sal, så derfor krøller jeg den sammen og smider den ud. Vi ville ikke gøre det samme med dyr, vel? Tænk, hvis vi gjorde det. Det vil være barbarisk, at vi, krøllede dyr sammen, slog dem ihjel, fordi at vi synes, de havde en fejl på den ene eller den anden måde. Men kære venner, det er lige præcis det, vi gør, og det er forfærdeligt at tænke på. Der er 330 millioner hanekyllinger i EU hvert år, som bliver slået ihjel. Enten ved at vi gasser dem, eller ved at vi kommer dem i en kødknusermaskine, fordi de har den fejl, at de har det forkerte køn. De er hankyllinger, og dem kan vi så ikke bruge til noget. Det er barbarisk. Helt ærlig. Hvad siger det om os? Hvad siger det om vores værdier? Hvad siger det om vores etiske kompas? Ikke noget særlig godt for mig at se, og derfor bør det stoppe. Derfor bør vi have et forbud mod dette på europæisk niveau.

Kommissæren nævnte to grunde til, at man skulle overveje at lade være med at lave sådan et forbud. Det ene var kulturelle begrundelser. Man skulle respektere medlemslandenes kultur. Det kan jeg ikke helt se nogen mening i. Altså, hvad er det for en kultur, der siger, at man skal lave en masse aflivning af hanekyllinger hvert år? Det er ikke en kultur, jeg kan støtte op om i hvert fald. Den anden var økonomiske grunde. Og der er det sådan, at det er jo absurd, at faktisk så vil dette formentlig ikke koste os noget. I hvert fald ikke noget sådan særlig betydeligt. Der er metoder i dag, hvorpå man kan afgøre, om kyllingen en er af han- eller hunkøn, inden man udklækker kyllingen, så lad os da bruge de metoder. Det er ikke nødvendigvis dyrere, men det ville gøre, at vi undgik at lave denne her barbariske massakre på hanekyllingerne. Så lad os tage de metoder i brug, og derfor vil jeg sige: Kommissær, vil du ikke give mig en god grund til, at vi ikke skal forbyde masseaflivningen af nyudklækkede hanekyllinger i Europa? Jeg kan ikke se nogen grund, og det tyder heller ikke på, at du kan. Så derfor lad os få det forbud, og lad os få det nu!


  Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, 300 millions. 300 millions, c’est le nombre de poussins mâles qui sont tués chaque année dans l’Union européenne, quelques minutes après avoir éclos. Dans les couvoirs spécialisés dans la fourniture de poules pondeuses, les poussins mâles n’ont aucune valeur et finissent le plus souvent broyés, déchiquetés.

Pourtant, des alternatives comme le sexage dans l’œuf permettent d’identifier le sexe d’un poussin une semaine avant l’éclosion. Plusieurs pays, comme la France ou l’Allemagne, ont déjà légiféré pour interdire le broyage des poussins. Il est temps d’interdire cette pratique partout en Europe.

Mais pourquoi ce qui s’appliquerait aux poussins ne pourrait-il pas s’appliquer aux canetons? Les producteurs de foie gras n’élèvent que des canards mâles et chaque année, des millions de canetons femelles sont broyés dès la naissance, alors que les mêmes techniques de sexage dans l’œuf existent. Rien ne peut justifier une différence de traitement entre poussins mâles et canetons femelles. La Commission européenne doit interdire le broyage systématique des deux. Les citoyens et les citoyennes comptent sur vous.


  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, уважаеми колеги, чудя се какво ли си мислят хората в галерията горе, когато виждат и гледат за какво отиват техните данъци и какви дебати финансират със своите данъци в Европейския парламент?

Не че имам нещо против екзотични теми като тези, все пак е четвъртък и в устните въпроси всеки може да задава теми, които, меко казано, според мен са странни за тази зала, но да речем, че както се казва, зададен въпрос, отговаря му се.

Друг е въпросът защо хора, които толкова много се грижат за малките пиленца, гъсенца, патенца, пчелички и други такива, когато стане дума за човешки права, в предишни дни избягват темата и се скатават и се опитват да игнорират, и се опитват да я избегнат, като например много важната тема за нарушаването на човешките права в Република Северна Македония. Но да речем, че това е друга тема.

Друг ми е въпросът към вас, уважаеми вносители и хора, които занимавате с този въпрос за пиленцата, патенца, гъсенцата и както там им казвате. Колко ще струва този дебат на индустрията и на хората, които се занимават с производството на птици? Защото всички ваши такива, много загрижени повдигания на теми водят обикновено до регулации, до администрация, до бюрокрация, до забрани и до унищожаване на някакъв клон от европейските индустрии, за да може да отворите вратите за внос от Китай, от трети държави и от някъде другаде. Това е резултат обикновено от вашите регулации. Грижата за патенцата, за пиленцата ще доведе до там да се внасят продукти от чужди държави, а тези, които ги произвеждат в рамките на европейските държави, да фалират и да губят своята работа. До това водят обикновено вашите подобни усилия. И аз се чудя дали това е въпрос на наивност или е нещо съвсем различно и започвам да се убеждавам, че не става дума за наивност.

(Ораторът приема да отговори на въпрос по процедурата „синя карта“)


  Niels Fuglsang (S&D), blue-card question. – I would like to ask the speaker whether he is familiar with the methods that exist in order to determine whether the sex of a chick is male or female. They already exist and can be used and will not cost more, neither for the producer nor for the consumer. Thus, is the speaker aware of these methods?


  Angel Dzhambazki (ECR), blue-card answer. – With all my respect, dear colleague, do you know the cost of this debate? What will be the cost to the taxpayers, first of all, and second, for the industry? This is what is important for me. What will be the impact of this debate and the future prohibition, the future ban? What will be the social cost, industrial? What will be the cost for the people who are living with and in this industry? I am not against your arguments, but still, what will be the cost? This is what is important for me.


  Pär Holmgren (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Commissioner, dear colleagues – although we are not that many still here on a late Thursday afternoon, which is a pity because this is an important topic. On the other hand, it’s 2023 and we shouldn’t even need to discuss this anymore, but we do.

As we know, every year the EU animal agricultural industry kills roughly one third of a billion baby chicks and ducklings. As many other Members have mentioned as well, they are brutally ground to death alive or painfully gassed to death. Male chicks are not valuable to the egg industry and female ducklings are not valuable to the foie gras industry, and this is done with the full legal sanction of the EU. But we also know that a large majority of the EU citizens, at least 80%, find this cruel killing for profit inexcusable.

As Nils just mentioned – or try to mention anyhow – the industry has already developed technology to separate eggs from the unwanted sex. So it’s not a problem. There is no excuse to justify this cruel practice anymore.

It is time for a full ban at EU level. As a Green MEP, I strongly urge the Commission and all the Member States as well, of course, to listen to its citizens and stop this cruelty now. A total ban must be included in the upcoming animal welfare legislation. Full stop, with no exemptions.


Catch-the-eye procedure


  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, we’re talking here – as colleagues have said – about the systemic culling of male chicks and female ducklings by way of gassing and grinding. It’s horrific, wanton cruelty and it happens to 330 million day—old chicks annually, and millions of day—old female ducklings: exterminated because they have no economic value to the egg or foie gras industry. Now I’m very glad that five of our Member States, to varying degrees, have measures to outlaw this process and that other others view a ban favourably. But what does it say about the EU that to move to an EU—wide ban depends on an economic impact assessment; that the Commission do not have a role, we are told, in the killing of female ducklings because it’s not banned in any of the Member States, therefore as isn’t an internal market system and you don’t want to know.

So the market trumps everything and animal welfare doesn’t count. That is not good enough as far as I’m concerned. There’s no need for this barbaric practice. As colleagues have said, we need to speed up this process, deliver a full EU—wide ban to stop people exploiting the borders to continue this process, a ban which must include a ban on chick imports from countries that do carry out chick—culling. And while you’re at it, the five countries who do foie gras might consider banning that as well.


  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, the welfare of farmed animals is a key part of the farm to fork strategy, improving food quality and ensuring better biodiversity, central to the EU Green Deal.

But the mass killing of day-old chicks and ducks in the millions is not carried out by small farmers, but by big agri-producers. This agricultural industry lobbying power has resulted in an unambitious report passed by this Parliament last year on animal welfare that completely missed the mark in politically supporting a transition to more sustainable and animal—friendly farming.

This lobbying industry has been systematically undermining the farm to fork strategy since its creation, and only yesterday we had the big groups in here bound to the big agri—lobbyists looking to kill off the new pesticide regulation and the nature restoration law. If an EU-wide ban on male chicks culling is implemented into legislation, what scope will be in place to ensure it cannot be watered down by exemptions lobbied by the big agri-industry as well?


(End of catch-the-eye procedure)


  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, thank you for enriching today’s debate with your pertinent remarks. The very fact that you included this issue on today’s agenda speaks to the importance you attach to it. We are currently working on the proposals for the European Parliament and the Council to revise the EU’s animal welfare regulation. The killing of day—old chicks is certainly part of the impact assessment process that underpins our proposals.


  President. – The debate is closed.

Päivitetty viimeksi: 19. syyskuuta 2023Oikeudellinen huomautus - Tietosuojakäytäntö