Animal welfare rules in aquaculture
Question for oral answer O-000001/2019
to the Commission
John Flack, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Arne Gericke, Fredrick Federley, Ivo Vajgl, Karin Kadenbach, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Julie Ward, Marco Zullo, Eleonora Evi, Michèle Rivasi, Stelios Kouloglou, Sven Giegold, Bart Staes, Keith Taylor, Michela Giuffrida, Paul Brannen, Pavel Poc, David Martin, Stefan Eck, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Jacqueline Foster, Tilly Metz, Davor Škrlec, Georgi Pirinski, Tonino Picula, Jiří Pospíšil, Tunne Kelam, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Kosma Złotowski, Isabella De Monte, Anja Hazekamp, Kostas Chrysogonos, Klaus Buchner, Pascal Durand, Younous Omarjee, Jill Evans, Guillaume Balas, Dominique Bilde
In November, the Commission published a study and a report on fish welfare during the transport of live fish, which drew attention to both the inadequacies of current practice and the discrepancies between the differing measures taken at national level.
Yet, in spite of concluding that standards are falling across Europe, and in spite of calls from Parliament and the Council to do more, the Commission has not made any proposals for improvement.
Moreover, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has stressed that fish are sentient, and the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers frequently mentions fish welfare in its code of conduct. Fish welfare is increasingly recognised as the framework through which to manage animal health, farm productivity, and consumer perceptions.
What justification does the Commission have for ignoring messages from Parliament, the Council and the industry on failings in the field of fish welfare?
Given that there are examples of effective rules at Member State level regarding pre-slaughter stunning, that transport standards are being failed only because contingency planning is not done in some cases, that adequate housing is a pre-requisite for having healthy fish, and that all parties recognise the value of improved training, will the Commission commit to introducing animal welfare related legislative requirements in aquaculture so as to ensure harmonisation of best practice throughout the European Union?
Deadline for reply: 16.1.2019