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Parliamentary questions
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26 October 2010
Question for written answer E-8688/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Frieda Brepoels (Verts/ALE)

 Subject: Animal genetics and inbreeding of pure-bred animals
 Answer in writing 

I have heard that, because of practices in the breeding industry, many pure-bred dogs (even those with an official pedigree) suffer from physical disorders which endanger their welfare. Their breeding involves a lot of inbreeding. Animals are mainly selected for aesthetic features, and the result is physiological disorders, many of which cause unacceptable physical suffering.

Is the Commission aware of the problems in dog-breeding, and more specifically those relating to inbreeding, hereditary diseases and behavioural problems in pure-bred pedigree dogs? Is the Commission aware of such problems affecting other species of animals? What is the Commission’s view of the matter?

Does the Commission have a strategy for promoting welfare in the breeding of pure-bred animals, including dogs?

Will the Commission take measures in this regard to tackle harmful practices? If so, what? If not, why not?

Can the Commission give me a complete overview of European legislation on animal welfare and particularly on breeding of animals (especially pure-bred animals)? How are responsibilities divided between the EU and Member States with regard to the breeding of pure-bred animals (both dogs and other animals)? What is the status within this European legislation of Council Directive 91/174/EEC of 25 March 1991 laying down zootechnical and pedigree requirements for the marketing of pure-bred animals?

The latter Directive stipulates that the marketing of pure-bred animals must not be prohibited, restricted or impeded on zootechnical or pedigree grounds. In view of the practice of inbreeding, what does the Commission think about this provision?

Original language of question: NLOJ C 249 E, 26/08/2011
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