A reasonned opinion adressed to Poland for its failure to implement the Animal in Experiments Directive

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On October 16th 2014, the EU Commission adressed to Poland a reasonned opinion for its failure to implement Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes before the deadlin of January 1 2013. If Poland fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.

Please read more on the enforcement of Directive 2010/63/EU on http://lawyersforanimalprotection.eu/ongoing-enforcement-activities-and-challenges/animals-in-experiments/

Please read the official EU press release here http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-589_en.htm

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Plan to populate the southern Baltic with grey seals

26 June 2012
E-006325/2012
Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa (PPE)

Inshore fishing is a seriously endangered sector of Poland’s maritime economy. One of the reasons for this is the planned introduction of grey seals to the southern Baltic. It should be noted that this is not an endangered species; in 2011 its population numbered 24 000 and it is growing annually by 8.5 %-10 %. The seals introduced into the Słowiński National Park by staff at the Marine Station of the University of Gdańsk’s Oceanography Institute (SMIOUG) as part of a programme to restore grey seals in the southern Baltic are inflicting such heavy losses that fishermen have been forced to replace their fishing gear and start fishing for cod far from the coast, where the seals live.

In addition, the grey seal is known to be one of the main definitive hosts of C.osculatum 4, which poses a major parasite risk to fish. Of particular concern are the nematodes belonging to the Anisakidae family, which are pathogenic to humans. This is a major problem both for fishermen and producers because the consumption of fish containing live larvae can be a health risk.

Proof of just how irresponsible it is to continue to rebuild and expand the grey seal population in the Baltic is the way in which the salmon populations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence have been ravaged by grey seals.

1. Can the Commission take any action to prevent the further reproduction of grey seals in captivity and their release into the southern Baltic?
2. Can the Commission take action to reduce the grey seal population to a sustainable level?

16 August 2012
E-006325/2012
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

The grey seal is listed in Annex II and V of the Habitats Directive(1). The competent authorities of Member States where the species is present are therefore required to designate Sites of Community importance (SCIs) for the protection of its habitat; if necessary, they are allowed to reduce the population of seals, as long as it is maintained at a favourable conservation status. Poland has designated for the species the SCI PLH220023 Ostoja Słowińska, where grey seal reintroduction programmes have been carried out. According to the last report provided by Poland under Article 17 of the directive, the conservation status of the grey seal in Poland is considered as ‘unfavourable-bad’.

In most cases cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and baleen whales) are the definite host for the Anisakis parasites infecting fish with their larvae. Grey seals are the main host for specific parasites in fish such as Contracaecum osculatum and Pseudoterranova decipiens. According to the European Food Safety Authority the public health importance of live C. osculatum in raw and undercooked fish is not known. Pseudoterravova sp. larvae (the ‘cod worm’) were found very rarely infecting cod from the southern Baltic Sea. Provisions for managing parasites in fish which may be of public health concern, including Anisakis, are laid down in the relevant Regulation(2).

It is the responsibility of Member State authorities to determine the necessary conservation measures in order to maintain or restore the grey seal at a favourable conservation status in accordance with the Habitats Directive. The Commission has no power or intention to decide which population level of grey seals should be considered as sustainable, nor does it plan to take action to reduce this population.

(1) Council Directive 92/43/EEC, of 21 May 1992, on the protection of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora, OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.
(2) Point D of Chapter III and Point D of Chapter V of Section VIII of Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, OJ L 139, 30.4.2004, p. 55.

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Laying Hens – Cage-eggs ban: EU Commission steps up in the on-going infringement procedures against 10 non compliant Member States

Brussels, June 22 2012 

Yesterday, on Thursday June 21, EU Commission has sent a “reasoned opinion” to ten Member States, regarding the infringement of requirements of the laying hen caged eggs ban.
On January 1 2012, after a twelve years transitional period, the Directive 1999/74/EC came into force and since this date, use of un-enriched barren cages for laying hens is strictly prohibited in all EU Member States. Continue reading Laying Hens – Cage-eggs ban: EU Commission steps up in the on-going infringement procedures against 10 non compliant Member States

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