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Parliamentary question - E-005380/2013(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its reply to Question E-3959/2009[1]. Moreover, such a ban may require an amendment of Commission Regulation (EC) No 543/2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards the marketing standards for poultry meat[2] which provides marketing standards for foie gras as defined in it Article 1 point 3.

The Commission is not aware of specific research on alternative feeding methods that would produce the enlargement of liver cells specific to the product without force feeding. However some farmers claimed that such product can be obtained without gavage[3].

The role of the Food and Veterinary Office of the Commission's Health and Consumers Directorate General (FVO) is specified in Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (Art. 45)[4]. Accordingly the Commission is to audit the competent authorities official control activities including control on the application of the recommendations of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes on the production of foie gras. In this context it may also visit production sites, but will not replace Member States authorities.

The FVO has included this topic in audits in France and Hungary in 2012 and 2011[5]. Both reports indicate that the competent authorities have targeted inspections on these farms and their inspection procedures were largely satisfactory.

OJ C 40 E, 11/02/2014