Monde­linge vraag over een verbod van het doden van kuikens van kippen en eenden in het EU-recht

Indiendatum: 10 mrt. 2023

Vraag met verzoek om mondeling antwoord O-000014/2023 aan de Commissie
Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE), Günther Sidl (S&D), Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE), Andreas Schieder (S&D), Pascal Arimont (PPE), Emil Radev (PPE), Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI), Michaela Šojdrová (PPE), Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE), Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE), Marcel Kolaja (Verts/ALE), Niels Fuglsang (S&D), Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Verts/ALE), Henna Virkkunen (PPE), Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D), Benoît Biteau (Verts/ALE), Mounir Satouri (Verts/ALE), Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Verts/ALE), Manon Aubry (The Left), Aurélia Beigneux (ID), Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), Pierre Larrouturou (S&D), Pascal Durand (S&D), Nora Mebarek (S&D), Marina Mesure (The Left), Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE), Eric Andrieu (S&D), Damien Carême (Verts/ALE), Anne-Sophie Pelletier (The Left), Tiemo Wölken (S&D), Martin Buschmann (NI), Marion Walsmann (PPE), Maria Noichl (S&D), Manuela Ripa (Verts/ALE), Stelios Kouloglou (The Left), Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE), Mick Wallace (The Left), Grace O'Sullivan (Verts/ALE), Frances Fitzgerald (PPE), Clare Daly (The Left), Ciarán Cuffe (Verts/ALE), Mario Furore (NI), Laura Ferrara (NI), Anna Bonfrisco (ID), Petras Auštrevičius (Renew), Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE), Robert Biedroń (S&D), Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE), Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), Andrzej Halicki (PPE), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE), Isabel Carvalhais (S&D), Dacian Cioloş (Renew), Martin Hojsík (Renew), Michal Wiezik (Renew), Malin Björk (The Left), Helmut Geuking (PPE), Alviina Alametsä (Verts/ALE), Anja Hazekamp (The Left), Matjaž Nemec (S&

Naar schatting doden de eierindustrie en de foie-grasindustrie in de EU jaarlijks 330 miljoen eendagskuikens van kippen en miljoenen vrouwelijke eendagskuikens van eenden door middel van vermaling of vergassing. Deze routinepraktijk veroorzaakt aanzienlijk lijden en druist ook in tegen artikel 13 van het Verdrag betreffende de werking van de Europese Unie, waarin dieren als wezens met gevoel worden erkend.

Bovendien hebben de Europese burgers ondubbelzinnig uiting gegeven aan hun bezorgdheid over dierenwelzijn en is 82 % van hen van mening dat landbouwhuisdieren beter moeten worden beschermd.

Dankzij recente ontwikkelingen op het gebied van in-ovo-geslachtsbepalingstechnologieën kan het geslacht van een embryo ruim voordat het kuiken uitkomt, tegen beperkte kosten worden bepaald. Daarom hebben sommige lidstaten, zoals Frankrijk en Duitsland, het doden van mannelijke kuikens verboden. Deze verboden leiden echter tot marktverstoringen en de afwijkingen die zij soms bevatten, ondermijnen de doeltreffendheid ervan.

1. Is de Commissie, gezien deze zeer duidelijke vraag van de Europese burgers, voornemens in haar voorstel voor nieuwe verordeningen inzake het welzijn van landbouwhuisdieren een verbod op het doden van eendagskuikens in de eierindustrie op te nemen?

2. Zo ja, is het verbod ook van toepassing op het doden van vrouwelijke eendagskuikens van eenden door de foie-grasindustrie?

Indiendatum: 10 mrt. 2023
Antwoorddatum: 11 mei 2023

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the systematic killing of millions of day—old chickens and day—old ducklings raises major ethical concerns for many people. These concerns are clearly shared by many of you in this Chamber.

Starting with the killing of day—old chicks, it is important to feed into our discussion the fact that Germany and France have already banned this practice, with other Member States examining the issue. The Commission is also looking at the option of phasing it out as part of our ongoing impact assessment for the revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation, an assessment which will also consider the challenging economic context, which for this particular sector chiefly means avoiding market distortion.

However, and even if this practice takes place under strict rules, we should ask ourselves whether purely economic reasons can justify such large scale, systematic killings. The experience in Germany and France can help us to understand the various aspects of such a ban, as well as the alternatives available.

The situation regarding the practice of killing female ducklings in the foie gras sector is rather different. This is so as it is limited to a few Member States that produce foie gras, including France, Hungary and Bulgaria, and none of these countries have banned or planned to ban it. The Commission therefore has no evidence of market distortion in this area that would justify EU intervention.

Furthermore, as you are aware, Treaty provisions on animal welfare refer to respecting national provisions and customs relating to cultural traditions and regional heritage. For these reasons, the Commission has not included a ban on killing female ducklings among its options for revising the EU’s animal welfare legislation.

Honourable Members, the global economic context has changed dramatically. Energy prices have soared and the prices of many commodities and goods, including food, have risen as well. We would therefore not be doing our duty to citizens if the impact assessment failed to consider this new economic context. As the Commission has said before, we are committed to proposing ambitious legislation that matches the latest science with social and economic realities.

Our discussions should hopefully provide the sector with the incentive to innovate, to embrace more ethical and sustainable production systems, and to reorient certain breeding and selection practices so that they benefit from new technologies.

At the same time, however, methods need to be reliable, cheap and passed to cope with a number of acts concerned. More research and development is therefore needed. Research into alternatives is ongoing and is making major progress. Of course, alternatives need to be compatible with sustainable production systems while fully considering the potential economic dimension. For example, some of the methods to detect the sex of embryos are now commercialised in the EU. Developing early sexing could reduce energy costs for hatching. This innovation could be a valuable asset that the rest of the world could be interested in buying.

Having said this, with the knowledge that we have at the present, it is very difficult to accurately predict when the industry could stop the killing of male chicks by using methods which are under development. Any ban would therefore require a transition period so that it is soundly developed and properly implemented.

Honourable Members, to conclude, let me assure you that the Commission will assess the short term and long-term challenges alike in order to be able to present you with a balanced and at the same time sustainable findings. I look forward for your views.

[...] Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, thank you for enriching today’s debate with your pertinent remarks. The very fact that you included this issue on today’s agenda speaks to the importance you attach to it. We are currently working on the proposals for the European Parliament and the Council to revise the EU’s animal welfare regulation. The killing of day—old chicks is certainly part of the impact assessment process that underpins our proposals.

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