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C 310/130 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.

98

Does the Commission feel that it is unacceptable for a native protected species of animal living in the wild to be
exterminated because of its part in the spread of diseases among domestic animals and that such a large-scale
extermination programme contravenes the Berne Convention and European policy on nature?

Is the Commission prepared, therefore, to take action to prevent this experiment, not least because there is no
indication in any country other than the United Kingdom or Ireland of the possibility of bovine TB being
transmitted to cattle by badgers?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(30 March 1998)

The Commission is aware of the Kreb report, which deals with the role of the badger in the epidemiology of
bovine tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis (TB) was once a common disease in humans, often contracted through drinking milk of affected
cows. Intensive testing and culling of reactor cattle under national and Community eradication programmes has
succeeded in making bovine TB almost a thing of the past in most Member States. However, since the early
1970’s, the badger has become involved in a cycle of infection in cattle in some areas of South West England and
Wales. Several eradication measures have been used, including systematic killing of badgers on affected farms
and in the surrounding countryside. The success has varied from area to area. The Kreb report was commissioned
by the United Kingdom in order to take a new look at the epidemiology of TB in this context.
The recommendations of the report are designed to give answers to questions which will help resolve this issue.

The destruction of any animal could not be regarded by anyone as desirable, but there are serious public health
concerns at stake. A successful outcome will also be beneficial rather than detrimental to nature protection, by
eradicating disease from the badger population. Badgers, too, should benefit in the long term.

The badger (meles meles) is included in Annex III of the Bern Convention, which means that it is, in principle,
protected. However, under the provisions of Article 8, derogations are allowed, amongst other reasons, in the
interests of public health and safety. It is also relevant to mention Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of
natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (1) (the Habitats Directive). The badger is not, in fact, currently given
any protected status under this Directive.

Localised action such as proposed is unlikely to have a serious impact on the national population of badgers,
which has been increasing steadily in the United Kingdom, despite the effects of the control measures and
disease, over the last 10 years.

The Commission therefore does not view the proposed action as contrary to Community nature protection
legislation, and would not, in such circumstances, intervene with the United Kingdom on this issue.

(1) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(98/C 310/175) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0788/98


by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission
(5 March 1998)

Subject: Sale of World Cup tickets

Given the Commission reply to my earlier question (E-0029/98 (1)) on the subject of the sale of tickets is the
Commission aware that the World Cup is in fact due to take place this June? Does the Commission recall its
statement following Italia 90 and a reply to another question tabled on all-inclusive travel packages
(P-3480/95 (2))? Can the Commission explain why it is so slow in taking action against the French distribution of
tickets given that problems were first raised in June 1997 and will the Commission immediately inform FIFA
who have taken over aspects of ticket allocation that they like the French authorities are not in fact above EU
law?

(1) OJ C 223, 17.7.1998, p. 89.


(2) OJ C 137, 8.5.1996, p. 14.
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/131

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(8 April 1998)

The Commission is conducting a detailed investigation of the problem raised by the Honourable Member and
will inform him of the outcome as soon as possible.

(98/C 310/176) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0793/98


by Wilmya Zimmermann (PSE) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Disbursement of EU funds to the district of Upper Franconia

1. In 1995, what was the amount of EU funds disbursed to Bavaria as a whole, and to the district of Upper
Franconia (Oberfranken) in particular?

2. In the context of what projects and funds were these appropriations disbursed?

3. What specific projects were carried out for the following target groups:
− women
− young people
− the long-term unemployed,

and what amount of aid was granted for each?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission


(2 April 1998)

The Commission is collecting the information it needs to answer the question. It will communicate its findings as
soon as possible.

(98/C 310/177) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0798/98


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Trafficking in human organs and drugs

Shocking information and allegations about the illegal trade in human organs and dangerous drugs have
appeared recently in the European press.

In particular, the lawyer Marie-Gabrielle Kohler has given an interview in the Swiss newspaper, ‘Le Matin’,
alleging that consignments of drugs (which pose a serious threat to consumers) are being sent to Greece, and that
a German doctor, Michael Hummel (who is supposed to be the mastermind behind drugs shipments to Greece),
was interested in human organs originating from Eastern Europe and intended chiefly for German hospitals ...

Special companies have been set up to launder the revenue from these operations. It is also horrifying to hear
Valerij Sumakov, a Russian transplant surgeon, admit that he himself exports organs from Moscow using forged
documents.

Will the Commission give its official views on this daunting ethical problem and say what information its
services possess regarding exports of dangerous drugs and illegally obtained human organs to Greece?

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