Warsaw (Poland) prohibits wild animals in circuses

The city of Warsaw in Poland has banned the use of wild animals in circuses last week. The initiative came from the mayor of the city who wants to improve the relationship between humans and animals. The ban will only apply for circuses taking place on municipal fields, and not in private area.

In Poland, cities of Slupsk, Bielsko-Biala and Wroclaw have already implemented such a ban.

More on http://www.bfmtv.com/societe/la-ville-de-varsovie-interdit-les-animaux-dans-les-cirques-944640.html


Catalonia bans use of wild animals in circuses

On Wednesday 22nd July, the Catalan parliament voted in favor of a legislation aiming to ban the use of wild animals in circuses and similar performance.

More on http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/07/23/inenglish/1437642575_788570.html

This is a good news as wild animals are often kept in very poor conditions in circuses. Around the World, a lot of countries have already prohibited the keeping of wild animals in circuses, including 7 EU Countries. To raise the issue, FOUR PAWS organised in 2013 a conference "Wild animals in captivity" in collaboration with the Born Free Foundation (see: http://www.vier-pfoten.eu/conferences/2013/2013-conference-wild-animals-in-captivity-animal-welfare-law-and-enforcement/).

Follow also our new hashtag #FOURPAWSgowild


Motion for a European Parliament resolution on a ban on importing angora fur and rabbit hides from China


by MEPs Sophie Montel, Dominique Bilde, Mireille D'Ornano, Florian Philippot

 Motion for a European Parliament resolution on a ban on importing angora fur and rabbit hides from China   


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes,

–       having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 4 July 2012 on the European Union Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012–2015,

–       having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the volume of imports of angora fur and rabbit hides from China to the European Union is constantly rising;

B.     whereas China does not have the same standards (animal welfare, environment) in fur farming as the EU;

C.     whereas a great many animal welfare associations have denounced the abominable conditions in which rabbits are farmed in China (angora rabbits skinned alive rather than clipping or plucking them, just to save time);

D.     whereas owing to pressure from consumers, a great many ready-to-wear brands have decided to stop using rabbit fur from China;

1.      Calls for a ban on importing angora fur and rabbit hides from China into the European Union;

2.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission, the Council and the Member States.


Ban on trade in products of Seals: the AG of the EU Court recommends to keep the ban


The General Advocate Kokott supports the EU ban on trade in products of commercial seal hunts and asked to the Court of Justice of the EU to support the ban and dismissed the appeal done by seal hunting and seal products retailers association

Last year, the General Court of the EU dismissed a plea of legality intended by several seal hunting and seal products retailers association, against the Regulation (EC) n° 1007/2009 on trade of seal products. The applicants put forward three main arguments. The first and second concerned the choice of the "internal market" as a legal basis, namely the harmonization of conditions of sale of seal products. The applicants submitted that the purpose of the regulation is the protection of animals and not the functioning of the internal market, and as animal welfare is not a legal basis in European law, there has been a violation of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The Court rejected this first argument, recalling that "the protection of the welfare of animals is a legitimate objective of general interest."
As a third argument, the applicants invoke the protection of human rights, including the protection of indigenous peoples and their right to be heard and the right to property. The Court also rejects this argument, stating that the impugned Regulation provides exceptions to the prohibition, for seal products derived from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit communities and other indigenous communities for subsistence.

The applicants have made an appeal of the judgment in front of the EU Court of Justice, and the Court will have to give its judgment soon. But in the EU rules, it is planned that a General Advocate is giving its opinion, before the Court is ruling. The German General Advocate Kokott has been designated and provided its opinion on March 19. In it, without mentioning once animal welfare, the general advocate is supporting the ban by a pure legal analysis of defects and inconsistencies of the complaint. She inter alia designates aspects of the objection illegitimate as they contain additional aspects which were not part of the subject matter plead at first instance.

Kokott rejects the imposed claims regarding legal errors of the court in its reference to Article 95 EC by defending its decision to draw on the time of the adoption of the basic regulation as date of examination as well as the preconditions for its recourse to this article. She dismisses the first ground of appeal as “therefore unfounded in its entirety”.

The second ground of appeal which criticizes the court for not embracing the ECHR as a source of general fundamental right principles according to Juliane Kokott is ineffective as there were no arguments given in which way it might affect the first verdict. Furthermore the minimum standard for protection of property codified in the EHCR has not been challenged by the court, as criticized by the applicants. The assignment to the right of freedom to conduct a business, Kokott argues, is not absolute and moreover outreaches the protest of the first instance. The accusation of having disesteemed Article 19 of the UNDRIP in its opinion is seen as unfounded as the article is not legally binding and does not constitute a codification of customary international law.

Based on these assumptions Kokott draws the deduction that the appeal is futile because of its “partially inadmissible and partially unfounded” character.


More on http://www.hsi.org/world/canada/news/releases/2015/03/eu-advocate-general-kokott-seals-032015.html

Opinion og the General Advocate: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=163030&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=120391

Judgment of the General Court http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=136881&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=6953766


Written questions January 2015- February 2015 (Newsletter n°25)

Wild Animals

In wildlife

Whale hunting in the Faroe Islands – E-009281/2014


Given this situation in the Faroe Islands, what can the Commission do to put an end to this despicable massacre once and for all?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009281&language=EN    


Wildlife injuries from harvesters – E-010075/2014         


What can the Commission do to address this problem? 2. Will the Commission finance a project group to investigate the problem and come up with possible solutions? 3. What possibilities exist to fund such a project?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-010075&language=EN


Legality of capturing birds to be used as live decoys by hunters – E-009061/2014 


In the light of the EU legislation governing this issue, the substance of the two orders referred to above, the Court of Justice’s findings in its judgment in Case C‐182/02 and the guidance document on hunting under Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, in particular paragraph 3.5.22 and the footnotes thereto, can the Commission say:

1.         whether it is aware of the above orders?

2.         what importance it considers should be attached to these orders for the purposes of correctly applying the Birds Directive, bearing in mind the need to observe the principle of subsidiarity?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009061&language=EN


Revision of European legislation on finning – E-009767/2014


1. Will the Commission revise the current legislation so as to enable the finning ban to be enforced in a way geared more closely to the sector’s needs as well as complying with the requirements of international law?

2. How has the fleet been helped to implement this legislation?

3. In view of the unfair competition, is the Commission providing compensation?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009767&language=EN                


By-catch of deep-sea sharks, zero TAC and conservation measures – E-010864/2014


In view of the above, I ask the Commission for information on the following:

1.         Is it intending to insist on maintaining a zero TAC for these species? What evidence does it have pointing to the appropriateness of a measure of this kind and confirming that a benefit for the resource will result?

2.         Does it not think that the possibility of permitting by-catch of deep-sea sharks up to a set limit would encourage better understanding of the species in question, population numbers and reproduction strategies, so that more appropriate conservation measures can be devised?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-010864&language=EN


In captivity

Ban on circus animals – E-009108/2014


Can the Commission clarify what actions have been taken by other Member States with regard to the ban on circus animals?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009108&language=EN



Illegal wildlife trade – E-009106/2014 and E-009559/2014

12 Nov. 2014, Marlene Mizzi (S&D) and 20 Nov. 2014, Marc Tarabella (S&D)

Question E-009106/2014

1. What concrete plans does the Commission have to combat the illegal wildlife trade?

2. Does the Commission consider it an urgent need to establish a global action plan to tackle the illegal wildlife trade?

Question E-009559/2014

What initiatives does the new Commission propose taking in order to advance the formulation of the action plan requested by the European Parliament?

Joint Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009559&language=EN


Sale of seal products – E-009544/2014


How does the Commission propose to ensure that the Convention on Biological Diversity and the principle of sustainable use are respected in the future by permitting trade in seal products from Sweden?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009544&language=EN


Farm Animals


EU labelling, mandatory country of origin – E-009311/2014                 

14 Nov. 2014, Siôn Simon (S&D)


“Does the Commission have any plans to extend mandatory country of origin labelling to other agricultural and processed meat products?”

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009311&language=EN


Origin labelling – E-008915/2014

7 November 2014, Marc Tarabella (S&D)


1. What is the Commission’s position on this?

2. Could it follow the matter up, and, if these figures are confirmed, guarantee that it will set up a scheme to counter this worrying trend and its causes?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-008915&language=EN


Eggs, live-plucking and poultry

Pure-bred poultry and the application of Directive 2009/158 /EC – E-008936/2014

7 November 2014, Daniel Caspary (PPE)


1.         Is it the intention of the above Directive and of the Commission that the sale of pure-bred poultry breeds in other Member States should be banned in Germany, since the required serological tests pursuant to Article 14, paragraph 2(e), are not feasible in practice for the micro-stocks of pure-bred poultry breeders?

2.         Directive 2009/158/EC provides, in Recital 7, that ‘specific trade’ should be excluded from the scope of this directive. Do pure-bred poultry markets and the act of selling at such markets by pure-bred poultry breeders constitute such ‘specific trade’?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-008936&language=EN


Goose feather collection techniques that are harmful to animal welfare – E-009497/2014


— What measures has the Commission taken to enforce the abovementioned directive and to prevent the collection of feathers from live geese which are not going through their natural moulting phase?

— Does the Commission not agree that it might be appropriate to submit a legislative proposal regarding the introduction of a voluntary mark to certify that the goose feathers were obtained without causing suffering to the animals?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009497&language=EN


Plucking of live geese – E-008277/2014


In view of this situation, what does the Commission intend to do to ensure that this recommendation is adhered to and that this practice stops?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-008277&language=EN



Protection for rabbits in European breeding farms – E-009611/2014 

21 Nov. 2014, Giulia Moi (EFDD)


“1. What steps has the Commission taken to introduce species‐specific legislation for protecting the welfare of rabbits?

2. Have European funds been used to support rabbit farming and, if so, does the Commission intend to ensure that future funding is not spent on breeding rabbits in battery or enriched cages, but instead solely on breeding systems paying greater attention to their welfare?

3. Does the Commission intend to work with the Italian Government regarding the enormous quantities of antibiotics required to treat the 175 million rabbits bred yearly in the country, as well as on measures to reduce their use?”

Answer http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009611&language=EN


Transportation and slaughter of live animals outside the EU – E-010843/2014


Does the Commission intend to take concrete and urgent measures to prohibit the transportation of live animals from Europe to third countries?

Does it intend to raise awareness in such countries with a view to the harmonisation of their legislation in this matter with European legislation?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-010843&language=EN



Origin labelling for horsemeat – E-009375-14

17 Nov. 2014, Elisabetta Gardini (PPE)


In the light of the above, can the Commission answer the following questions:

1.         What is the current status of the impact and feasibility assessment of the possible extension of the compulsory indication of the country of origin or area of provenance for horsemeat?

2.         What action does the Commission intend to take to ensure that European consumers are correctly informed in this matter and safeguard the competitivity of the Italian horsemeat sector?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009375&language=EN


Standard welfare conditions for horses across the EU – E-010234/2014      


In many Member States, tourist attractions include horse-and-carriage city tours. Given that horses are sentient beings rather than machines, is the Commission considering the introduction of standard welfare conditions for working horses across the EU in order to regulate hours of rest and work and lay down requirements as regards better conditions, food and water consumption and other factors which impact upon the proper treatment of these horses?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-010234&language=EN


Companion Animals


Killing of Excalibur – E-009748/2014        


1. In view of the killing of Excalibur, what specific measures will the Commission take under the EU’s 2012-2015 Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals with a view to ensuring compliance with Protocol P4 and/or achieving the goal of zero killings?

2. Will it standardise the protocols on quarantine for biosafety reasons and euthanasia?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009748&language=EN



Travelling / selling

Transport of invertebrates – problems with application of the Regulati – P-001065/2015


The French pet shop workers' union Prodaf has already drawn the attention of DG SANCO to this issue in December 2014 and January 2015. At a meeting on 9 January2015 in Brussels between UPS and Unit G.3, reference was made to the forthcoming publication of new guidelines. I can hardly stress too much the urgency of the situation for many people working in this sector.

1. Has the Commission yet identified any possible approaches to this issue?

2. Could the Commission please state when it expects to publish these new guidelines?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=P-2015-001065&language=EN


Puppy smuggling – P-000091/2015


In their role as guardians of the treaties, the Commission and its services such as the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) are responsible for ensuring that EU legislation on animal health and welfare is properly implemented and enforced.

How does the Commission plan to ensure the enforcement of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 now that it has come into force, given the issues of enforcement with Regulation (EC) No 998/2003?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=P-2015-000091&language=EN



Pets to be included in the European Animal Welfare Act – E-010549/2014


Is the Commission considering including pets, and in particular stray dogs and cats, in the European Animal Welfare Act?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-010549&language=EN


Stray dogs in Romania during the winter – E-009782/2014      


Can the Commission clarify what special measures have been taken to improve conditions for stray dogs in Romania during the winter?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-009782&language=EN



Specific issues


Ban on farming for fur production/animal welfare – E-011036/2014   


Does the Commission intend to ban this type of farming, which clearly does not obey any animal welfare standards?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2014-011036&language=EN


Animals in Experiments

Animal testing in the context of the REACH and Cosmetics regulations – P-000498/2015


Together with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the Commission has recently clarified the relationship between the marketing ban for products tested on animals under the Cosmetics Regulation ((EC) No 1223/2009) and the information requirements under the REACH Regulation ((EC) No 1907/2006). It has made clear that the testing and marketing bans in the Cosmetics Regulation do not apply to testing required for environmental endpoints, exposure of workers or non-cosmetic uses of substances under REACH.

I would therefore welcome a clarification from the Commission on why it considers such an exception to be necessary, and why the tests used to ensure consumer safety cannot be applied to worker safety

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=P-2015-000498&language=EN


Animal Health Law

Animal categories in the Animal Health Regulation – E-000711/2015


1. Why is there no category of ‘non-kept animals’ in the Animal Health Regulation?

2. Why does the Commission want to categorise stray animals as wild, instead of giving them their own category of ‘non-kept animals’?

Answer: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2015-000711&language=EN


New GMO rules get final Council approval

New EU rules allowing member states to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their territory were formally adopted by the Council on 2 March 2015. They will enter into force 20 days following their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.  

More on http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/03/150302-new-gmo-rules-get-approved/


France: Prohibition of the barbaric tradition of "Encierro à l'Eyraguaise " (bull rope)

After a fight of twelve years, the French organisations "Alliance Anti-corrida", "Œuvre d'Assistance aux Bêtes d'Abattoirs" and the SPA of the region of Arles (south of France) have succeeded to get a judgment banning the "bull rope" a barbaric bull run. These races can result in injuries to the bull whose movements are hampered by a rope at the horns. The bull's head is projected in all the directions, with a violent pull on the rope held by a group of people.

This tradition was already banned by the Prefecture of the Region, but despite the ban was still taking place. The high court of Tarascon has cancelled and prohibited the next run that was suppose to happen on January 15. The oprganisers have been sentenced to a € 3,000 fine. Moreover, they will have to pay 400€ to each organisation.

More on http://www.planeteanimaux.com/sujet/2015/01/08/fin-du-taureau-a-la-corde-en-france/


Motion for a European Parliament resolution on animal welfare on mink farms

A motion for a European Parliament resolution on animal welfare on mink farms has been introduced on December 2th by 5 MEPs of the French Extreme Right wing. It calls on the Commission to ban mink farming for fur production in the European Union, thus ensuring strict compliance with Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998

Text of the resolution: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+MOTION+B8-2014-0323+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN