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Parliamentary question - E-005657/2020Parliamentary question

Minimum liver weights in foie gras production

Question for written answer E-005657/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Jytte Guteland (S&D)

Since the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare’s 1998 report, every independent scientific study has confirmed that force-feeding is inherently detrimental to animal welfare. Force-feeding runs counter to Article 14 of the Annex to Directive 98/58/EC, and is a practice that is already illegal in 22 Member States. Some studies that have been exclusively funded by the foie gras industry have stated otherwise.

Foie gras producers have argued that the minimum liver weights required by Regulation (EC) No 543/2008 are essential in order to produce a sufficient percentage of fatty cells. This percentage is based ex post on weights for which – according to previous answers from the Commission – no independent studies had ever been carried out when they were established. In fact, they constitute an unjustifiable internal trade barrier against those countries that fully implement Directive 98/58/EC.

Making animals deliberately ill to produce a non-essential food that is high in fat should be discouraged now more than ever. What is more, such a practice should be discouraged in response to European civil society’s call for improved animal welfare.

Last updated: 30 October 2020
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