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GUE/NGL MEP Stefan Eck meets European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis

31/03/2015

GUE/NGL MEP Stefan Eck meets European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis

On 25th March 2015, in Brussels, GUE/NGL MEP and vice-president of the "Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals", Stefan Eck, met the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Together with MEP Jeppe Kofod and with two animal rights experts, Andreas Erler from Eurogroup for Animals and Peter Stevenson from Compassion in World Farming, Stefan Eck briefed the Commissioner on the widespread breaches of EU legislation on the welfare of pigs - including the existing legislative requirements regarding enrichment material and tail docking.

Stefan Eck urged Mr Andriukaitis to press his fellow commissioners to deliver on the promise by the Barroso Commission to propose a set of EU guidelines for the pig sector - a project currently under consultation between several European Commission services.

Stefan Eck took good note of the Commissioner's remark that animal welfare is high on his agenda and praised him for acknowledging the poor performance of the farming sector in terms of implementation and enforcement of the Pigs Directive in all member states as well as for his promise to open formal infringement procedures against the countries which fail to implement the EU law.

All in all MEP Eck was pleased with "this very constructive and positive meeting" during which the Commissioner showed interest and willingness to cooperate with animal friends , notably by means of a permanent round table between all interested parties, including European and national institutions, farmers and other stakeholders.

Reports by the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office and animal welfare organisations have for many years made it clear that many EU pig farmers do not comply with the requirement in Directive 2008/120 that pigs must be provided with enrichment materials and the Directive’s ban on routine tail docking. Similarly, it is clear that many member states make no serious attempt to enforce these provisions and to sanction economic operators who don't comply with the European law.

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