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Poultry


Geese and ducks

© FOUR PAWS | Zimmermann

 

Foie Gras Production

 

Paneuropean level (Council of Europe):

  • The keeping of ducks in individual cages stands in contradiction to the  Recommendations on Ducks and Geese of 2011 of the Standing Committee of the European Convention for the Protection of Farm Animals (soft law).

EU legal framework:

  • The production of foie gras is prohibited on the national level in several countries: Argentina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and California (USA).
  • The selling and import of Foie Gras in the EU is not prohibited, due to the principle of free movement of goods of the European Single Market.
  • Art. 4 of Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of farm animals, stipulates that Member states shall ensure that animals are kept with respect to their physiological and ethological needs. Force-feeding for foie gras production can never respect these needs.
  • The cruel foie gras production stands in contradiction with the general EU principle laid down in Art. 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), which says: “Since animals are sentient beings, [the EU has to] pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals […].”
  • The second part of Art. 13 TFEU states: “[…] while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.” With regard to that second sentence of art. 13 TFEU, France declared foie gras to part of the country’s cultural tradition, the French cuisine. It is not clarified, however, under which circumstances a derogation for “religious rite, cultural tradition or regional heritage” would be given under Art. 13 TFEU.

 

 

Live Feather Plucking

 

 Paneuropean level (Council of Europe):

  • The European Convention ETS 87 on the Protection of Farm Animals kept  for Farming Purposes has implemented a ban on Live Feather Plucking under the Recommendation on domestic geese (soft law).

EU legal framework:

  • Live Plucking on animals is forbidden in the EU through Art. 3 of Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals used for farming purposes.
  • However, plucking during the so called “moult” or “harvesting” is not forbidden. According to the Scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) it is considered as an indulgent form of plucking of loose feathers during the natural moulting process of the birds in which case the animals are not hurt. This report was misinterpreted and misused by Member States to continue painful Live Plucking

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