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Parliamentary question - E-011921/2013(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

The Commission seeks to promote high welfare standards in animal livestock populations worldwide. To do this, it supports both the specific standards and recommendations on animal welfare of the OIE and promotes animal welfare in the cooperation agreements it signs with third countries. Apart from enhancing the degree of implementation of OIE standards on animal welfare, this also facilitates capacity-building on animal welfare matters in some of the EU’s key trading partners.

In addition, the EU has been able to secure guarantees as regards animal welfare in slaughterhouses. Those slaughterhouses exporting meat to the EU must provide the relevant certification attesting to the fact that the animals have been handled in compliance with Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, and have met requirements at least equivalent to those laid down in the regulation.

At the third OIE Global Conference on animal welfare held in Kuala-Lumpur in 2012, the issue of introducing stricter measures than those mentioned in the OIE standards was discussed and a conclusion was added with respect to the right of OIE Member Countries to determine the level of their national science-based measures.

To date, none of these agreements limits the capacity of the EU’s counterparts to adopt more stringent standards than those of the OIE.

OJ C 218, 10/07/2014