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Parliamentary questions
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13 February 2013
E-011524/2012(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-011524/2012

The Commission would refer to its answer to Written Question E 11289/2012(1) regarding the legal situation on plucking/harvesting feathers from live geese and the steps taken by the Commission to monitor the situation.

25 Member States signed and ratified the European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes; the detailed list is available on the website of the Council of Europe(2). However, since the European Union signed and ratified the Convention, the Convention and its subsequent recommendations are part of EC law. As such they are legally binding for all Member States as well as for the Union.

According to the European Down and Feather Association, 98% of the down and feathers processed by their industry is collected after the slaughter of birds.

In addition, the Commission, following the adoption of the EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2012-2015(3), is presently reflecting on how information to consumers on animal welfare can be improved.

The Commission acknowledges the initiative of several European animal welfare NGOs asking to ban also the practice of gathering feathers from live geese. However, the Commission considers that progress on this issue can be better achieved by improved enforcement of the current EU legislation in the few Member States concerned, and by increased awareness of all actors on this issue.

(1)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html#sidesForm.
(2)http://wayback.archive-it.org/1365/20120819004147/http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=087&CM=1&DF=&CL=ENG.
(3)COM(2012) 6 final.

OJ C 340 E, 21/11/2013
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