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22. 1.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 21/123

(98/C 21/236) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1939/97

by Kirsten Jensen (PSE) and John Iversen (PSE) to the Commission
(4 June 1997)

Subject: Swine fever

On Monday, 12 May 1997, Dutch newspapers carried reports on the deplorable conditions in which pigs
suffering from swine fever are kept. Pigs had fallen through a hatchway in their sty into their own excrement, in
which they drowned. A photographer had his camera taken off him by the police.

Does the Commission believe that sick animals should be treated decently?

Will it take the initiative and submit a Green Paper on animal welfare in the EU?

Does it intend to investigate why the public is not allowed to find out about such conditions and why the Dutch
photographer was not allowed to publish his pictures?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(26 June 1997)

The only Community legislation currently in force concerning the welfare of pigs on farms is provided by
Council Directive 91/630/EEC, of 19 November 1991 laying down minimum standards for the protection of
pigs (1). The Annex to the Directive (Chapter I, point 6) requires that all pigs reared in groups or in stalls must be
inspected by the owner or the person responsible for the animals at least once a day. Any pig which appears to be
ill or injured must be treated appropriately without delay. It should be possible, wherever necessary, to isolate
sick or injured pigs in adequate accommodation with dry, comfortable bedding. Veterinary advice must be
obtained as soon as possible for pigs which are not responding to the stock-keeper's care.

In relation to future developments with regard to the welfare of pigs, the Commission would draw attention to
Article 6 of Directive 91/630/EEC which requires the Commission to submit a report to the Council drawn up on
the basis of an opinion from the scientific veterinary committee on the welfare aspects of intensive pig rearing
systems. It is anticipated that the scientific veterinary committee will complete its report by the end of July this

The question of access by press photographers to private premises is governed by the law of the Member State

(1) OJ L 340, 11.12.1991.

(98/C 21/237) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1946/97

by Sebastiano Musumeci (NI) to the Commission
(4 June 1997)

Subject: Cuts in EU funds for tourism in Italy

At a recent high-level meeting held at the Sicily Region headquarters the representatives of the EU
Directorate-General for Regional Policy apparently threatened to reduce the budget for Sicilian tourism,
established under the 94-99 MGP, and to redirect Community aid to other uses.

The feared cuts would deprive the island of some Lit 90 bn, thereby undermining the efforts of many hotel groups
which have for some time ben making the necessary arrangements to benefit from EU support for upgrading
facilities and complying with safety standards.

The drastic cuts which have been announced are apparently in response to cases of alleged mismanagement by
the Sicily Regional Council and are therefore a disproportionate reaction, given the harm they would cause.

Will the Commission confirm the statements made in Palermo by Community officials? If so, does it not consider
that alternative solutions should be adopted that do not further penalize an ‘Objective 1’ region which is fighting
for its own socio-economic recovery, focusing primarily on the tourist sector?
C 21/124 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 22. 1. 98

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(30 June 1997)

The operational programme for Sicily is suffering from serious delays in implementation with a gap of around
10% (latest figures) between projected and incurred expenditure for measures part-financed by the European
Regional Development Fund, and when the Monitoring Committee for the Community Support Framework met
in Rome on 22 May 1997 it was held to be be among the programmes at risk. In particular the tourism investment
measures to which the Honourable Member refers (2.1 Aid for tourism and 2.3 Rural tourism) have so far shown
no expenditure and the national authorities do not expect the first payments before the end of 1998 or beginning
of 1999.

Tto avoid the risk of losing resources the Commission is in process of assessing with the national authorities, as
part of a wider reprogramming of assistance affected by implementation problems, the possibilities of adjusting
the programme in line with the state of and outlook for realisation of its various measures. Adjustment would not
at this stage involve any reduction in total Community aid to Sicily and the resources would be retained in the
same field of action (Subprogramme 2 Tourism and cultural assets).

(98/C 21/238) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1947/97

by Cristiana Muscardini (NI) to the Commission
(4 June 1997)

Subject: Torture inflicted on mares to produce the Premarin drug

The ‘Impronte’ review, which is printed and distributed by the LAV (Italian Anti-Vivisection League) has for
some time denounced the fact that 75 000 mares are tortured in the United States and Canada to enable the
American Wieth-ayerst laboratories to prepare substances used to produce the Premarin drug.

The torture inflicted on the mares consists in depriving them of adequate water supplies (i.e. giving them only
22 litres of water a day instead of the 50 they need), so as to obtain a much more concentrated urine. The method
used to collect their urine also causes them pain and severe injuries.

Will the Commission therefore ensure that imports of this drug are banned in Europe so as to discourage such
cruel practices?

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission

(8 July 1997)

Will the Honourable Member please refer to the answer given by the Commission to written questions E-1784/96
and 1785/96 from Mrs Van Dijk (1).

Generally speaking the international trade rules do not allow the Community to ban the import of products from
non-member countries on the grounds that those products are obtained in those countries under conditions which
would be considered unacceptable within the Community, especially since those products do not constitute any
hazards to the lives and health of persons and animals within the Community.

(1) OJ C 11, 13.1.1997.

(98/C 21/239) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1949/97

by Sebastiano Musumeci (NI) to the Commission
(4 June 1997)

Subject: Ban on Sicily Region’s aid to tourist operators

The Commission has prohibited the Sicily Regional Council from subsidizing tourist transport to the island by
charter, rail, boat and coach operators because it considers that the measures in question constitute a form of aid