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Parliamentary questions
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24 June 2011
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004546/2011

The Commission attaches great importance to animal welfare. Animals are recognised as sentient beings by Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the European institutions are obliged to pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals when formulating and implementing Union's legislation.

The Commission is continuously working to increase awareness and understanding on animal welfare with its main trading partners. Moreover, in slaughterhouses approved in third countries for the purpose of exporting to the EU, the responsible competent authority should certify that animal welfare requirements equivalent to those laid down in Council Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing(1) are met. This directive will be repealed by Council Regulation 1099/2009(2) as of 1.1.2013.

The Commission was made aware in 2010 of cases of mistreatment of horses slaughtered in some Latin American countries for meat exports to the EU. The Commission brought this subject to the attention of the responsible competent authorities in order to investigate those practices and the official checks put in place to verify compliance with the EU legislation.

Moreover, in the framework of the Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) initiative, the Commission is organising in the coming months a Regional Workshop on animal welfare during transport and animal welfare at the time of killing that will take place in Chile and will be attended by officials from all Latin American countries.

(1)OJ L 340, 31.12.1993.
(2)OJ L 303, 18.11.2009.

OJ C 314 E, 27/10/2011
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