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Parliamentary question - E-009949/2013Parliamentary question

Animal welfare — exemption from cross-compliance rules

Question for written answer E-009949-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Brian Simpson (S&D)

Council Directive 98/58/EC establishes general rules concerning the protection of farmed animals, irrespective of species. It requires farmers to guarantee inter alia that their animals have freedom of movement, an appropriate environment and suitable accommodation, equipment, feed, water and other necessities, and that artificial breeding that may cause suffering or injury is avoided. However, it refers only to animals kept for farming purposes, excluding from its scope animals intended for use in competitions, shows or cultural or sporting events or activities, e.g. bulls reared for bullfighting.

The directive is listed as one of the Statutory Management Requirements under cross-compliance rules in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). It means that farmers must protect the welfare of their animals in order to receive EU CAP subsidies. With regard to animal welfare standards, currently only this general farm directive and the directives on the welfare of pigs and calves are included in cross-compliance.

Under the current CAP rules farmers rearing bulls for bullfighting are entitled to receive direct payments. This is already unacceptable for millions of taxpayers who are strongly against this barbaric sport. The exemption from the scope of Directive 98/58/EC moreover means that these farmers receive EU subsidies without needing to comply with any EU animal welfare rules.

Does the Commission not agree that all farmers in receipt of EU agricultural subsidies must guarantee the welfare of their farmed animals?

Does the Commission intend to revise the directive in order to guarantee the welfare of all farmed animals, not only those kept for farming purposes? If not, what will the Commission do to ensure the welfare of the animals excluded from the directive’s scope?

OJ C 179, 12/06/2014