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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2020
Answer given by Mr Gentiloni
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003538/2019

Eurostat does not collect statistical data on the total number of horses per use.

The aggregated number of horses, donkeys, mules and hinnies kept on agricultural holdings is available in the Farm Structure Survey for 2013 and 2016 in Eurostat’s database(1). These equidae are kept on the farm for meat production, as draught animals or as a leisure activity of the farm family. In the 2020-2026 Integrated Farm Statistics(2) horses will be reported under the class ‘other animals’ as their economic importance for farms is very small.

Data on animals in Eurostat statistics applies to livestock as part of agricultural activities. Due to the vast majority of horses used under other economic activities than agriculture, attempts to cover the number of equidae within agricultural statistics can easily lead to false conclusions as the data can be interpreted as representing the total equidae population.

Eurostat is not planning any study to collect data on overall number of horses.

Administrative data on numbers of horses should exist at national level(3). At present, there is a legal requirement to identify equidae, but not to register them. In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/429(4) and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2035(5), the identification and registration of equidae, the registration of establishments keeping equidae and the establishment of a database in each Member State will be mandatory. This will allow generating substantiated data on the equine population in the Union for animal health purposes.

(1)https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ef_lsk_main&lang=en , last update: 2 May 2019.
(2)Regulation (EU) 2018/1091 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on integrated farm statistics and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1166/2008 and (EU) No 1337/2011, OJ L 200, 7.8.2018, p. 1‐29.
(3)Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 of 17 February 2015 laying down rules pursuant to Council Directives 90/427/EEC and 2009/156/EC as regards the methods for the identification of equidae (Equine Passport Regulation), OJ L 59, 3.3.2015, p. 1‐53.
(4)Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’), OJ L 84, 31.3.2016, p. 1‐208.
(5)Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2035 of 28 June 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for establishments keeping terrestrial animals and hatcheries, and the traceability of certain kept terrestrial animals and hatching eggs, OJ L 314, 5.12.2019, p. 115‐169.
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