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Parliamentary questions
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12 August 2020
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002862/2020

Only Finland and Sweden have banned routine tail docking in pigs. All other Member States submitted action plans to the Commission in 2018, and provided updates in the course of 2018 and 2019. With the exception of Denmark, all action plans submitted to date lack adequate compliance criteria for one or more of the six tail-docking risk factors .

The Commission is continuing to engage with the Member States to remind them of the need to address the issue of routine tail docking and ensure compliance with the requirements in EU legislation.

As the Commission pointed out in its reply to Question E-001663/2020, the action plans of the Member States are one of several measures taken by the Commission in order to help Member States to comply with the rules on tail docking laid down in Directive 120/2018/EC(1). The Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/336(2) referred to by the Honourable Member is another one of these measures.

In its Farm to Fork Strategy adopted on 20 May 2020(3), the Commission indicates that it will ‘revise the animal welfare legislation, including on animal transport and the slaughter of animals, to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, make it easier to enforce and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare<QT.END>’ </QT.END> . More actions are therefore foreseen aiming to bring about more positive change in this area as well.

(1)Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (Codified version), OJ L 47, 18.2.2009, p. 5-13
(2)Commission Recommendation (EU) 2016/336 of 8 March 2016 on the application of Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs as regards measures to reduce the need for tail-docking, OJ L 62, 9.3.2016, p. 20-22
(3) COM(2020) 381 final.
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