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Parliamentary questions
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19 March 2019
Question for written answer E-001407-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Eleonora Evi (EFDD) , Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) , Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL) , John Flack (ECR) , Dario Tamburrano (EFDD) , Emil Radev (PPE) , José Inácio Faria (PPE) , Tiziana Beghin (EFDD) , Jiří Pospíšil (PPE) , Marco Zullo (EFDD) , Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE) , Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD) , Pascal Durand (Verts/ALE) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD) , Jytte Guteland (S&D) , Petri Sarvamaa (PPE) , Dominique Bilde (ENF) , Fredrick Federley (ALDE) , Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL) , Marco Affronte (Verts/ALE) , Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE) , Marlene Mizzi (S&D) , Julie Ward (S&D) , Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE) , Keith Taylor (Verts/ALE) , Guillaume Balas (S&D)

 Subject:  Establishment of a labelling scheme based on animal welfare for meat and/or dairy products
 Answer in writing 

The vast majority of EU consumers are willing to pay more for animal welfare-friendly products(1).

While some voluntary schemes exist, at present consumers are not able to differentiate clearly among the various meat and dairy products on the market on the basis of welfare standards.

A science-based and species-specific three-tier system, on the lines of that already operational for eggs and similar to the system Germany is implementing for pigs(2), consistent and standardised throughout the EU and starting out from minimum legal requirements, would certainly ensure clarity for consumers and empower them.

Additionally, such a labelling scheme would be fairer to farmers, as it would prevent the use of different and misleading labels that can conceal or entail distinct, and lower, animal welfare standards.

Moreover, such a system would create a ‘race to the top’ effect, encouraging farmers to put in place higher animal welfare standards in order to mark their product as top-tier while at the same time offsetting the increased costs.

1. Does the Commission intend to introduce such a labelling scheme for meat and/or dairy products?

2. If not, and given the success of the EU egg labelling scheme, why not?

(1)Special Eurobarometer 442, Attitudes of Europeans towards Animal Welfare — Summary, March 2016
(2)Press releases: https://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/2019/036-Tierwohlkennzeichen.html?utm_source=POLITICO.EU&utm_campaign=7b62d74471-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_06_09_35&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10959edeb5-7b62d74471-189131121; https://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/Tier/Tierwohl/Tierwohlkennzeichen_Schwein_Kriterien.pdf;jsessionid=E085B4C70B9A0CD66D69A604E6E2B197.2_cid358?__blob=publicationFile; https://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/Tier/Tierwohl/Tierwohlkennzeichen_Schwein_Grafiken.pdf;jsessionid=E085B4C70B9A0CD66D69A604E6E2B197.2_cid358?__blob=publicationFile

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