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Parliamentary questions
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4 September 2009
by Frieda Brepoels (Verts/ALE)
to the Commission

 Subject: Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 — identification of equidae
 Answer in writing 

As from 1 July 2009, all equidae in Belgium are required to have a passport and a chip, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 504/2008(1). Food safety and traceability of animals are given as the reasons for this. However, the regulation seems to be based on the assumption that all equidae will ultimately enter the food chain. Yet this is not always true of equidae (e.g. ponies, donkeys, etc.) which are kept as pets. They present no threat to food safety, as any unidentified animal is automatically rejected by the veterinary expert at a slaughterhouse and thus cannot enter the food chain. On the other hand, other methods also exist to guarantee traceability of such animals. The costly requirement to obtain a passport and chip for such animals therefore seems disproportionate.

1. When drafting the regulation, did the Commission consider making an exception for equidae kept as pets? If so, why was such an exception not incorporated in the regulation?

2. Article 12 of the regulation concerns alternative identification methods. Have any Member States invoked this article, and if so, which? What alternative methods are these Member States using?

3. Will the Commission consider — or reconsider — making an exception in future for equidae kept as pets? If so, has any timetable already been adopted for a possible revision? If not, why not?

(1)OJ L 149, 7.6.2008, p. 3.

Original language of question: NLOJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
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