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C 31/44 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 5.2.


In this context, will the Commission answer the following questions:

1. Is it possible for individual owners to declare their horses to be not a source of food, either permanently or for
the duration of treatment with medicinal products?

2. Can a horse be approved as a source of food after a qualifying period (to be determined) between the last
application of a medicinal product and slaughter?

3. Does the Commission see opportunities for EU-wide harmonization and simplification of the authorization
requirements for veterinary medicinal products?

4. How can the veterinary medicinal products industry be induced, by improvements in the authorization
situation, to retain as many long-established products as possible and thereby prevent treatment gaps arising?

(1) OJ L 224, 18.8.1990, p. 1.

(2) OJ L 82, 19.3.1998, p. 14.

(1999/C 31/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1948/98

by Liam Hyland (UPE) to the Commission

(30 June 1998)

Subject: EU regulations on equine medicines

Council Regulation No 2377/90 (1) stipulates that maximum residue limits must be established for any substance
intended for use in food producing animals. In this regard, no distinction is made between horses bred for food
production and recreational or sport horses.

Is the Commission aware that, as a result, the number of products/medicines which have been granted a
marketing aurhorization for use in horses is severely restricted?

Has the Commission considered the option of introducing traceability for horses through the use of methods such
as micro-chips for identification and medication passports to ensure that:

− the consumer is guaranteed protection with regard to horse meat in the food chain, and

− a wider range of the best possible treatments is available for recreational and sport horses?

(1) OJ L 224, 18.8.1990, p.1.

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-1495/98, E-1537/98, E-1725/98, E-1921/98 and E-1948/98
given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission

(20 July 1998)

Horses (and other domestic solipeds like donkeys, ponies etc.) are used as ‘food-producing animals’ in the
Community. If they are slaughtered and their meat is intended for human consumption the rules of Council
Directive 64/433/EEC (1), which regulates health conditions for the production and marketing of fresh meat, have
to be applied.

The marketing of a veterinary medicinal product has to be authorised according to the requirements of Council
Directive 81/851/EEC of 28 September 1981 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to
veterinary medicinal products (2). Before a marketing authorisation can be issued for a veterinary medicinal
product for use in animals that will subsequently be used as food, a positive evaluation must be carried out to see
what residues from any pharmacological active substance will remain in the food products that will be produced
from the animal. This evaluation has to be carried out according to Council Regulation (EEC) 2377/90 of 26 June
1990 laying down a Community procedure for the establishment of maximum residue limits of veterinary
medicinal products in foodstuffs of animal origin (3).

It has been suggested that horses kept for sporting purposes should be excluded from these requirements.
However, many horses enter the meat production chain at the end of their lives, irrespective of whether they were
kept for meat production or recreational purposes. This is also the case with horses in Member States where
5.2.1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 31/45

horsemeat is not usually consumed since these horses are often exported to other countries where they are
slaughtered for human consumption. Separation of sporting or recreational animals from meat-producing animals
is not easily achieved. Any system of control would need to be both straightforward and reliable. However,
simply relying on documentation (especially if such documentation just takes the form of a declaration by the
horse’s owner) will not fulfil these requirements. Indelibly marking with microchips, branding and tattooing have
all been suggested and discussions are still under way as to whether such marking systems are likely to be feasible
and effective. It is clear that any solution will have to be valid for the whole Community and not for specific
Member States.

The Commission is also considering various options to facilitate the authorisation of veterinary medicinal
products in certain circumstances. Any solutions will also have to consider products, which were on the market
before Council Regulation (EEC) 2377/90 came into force.

Before maximum residue limits were introduced to enforce consumer protection, a system of ‘withdrawal
periods’ was used. This was abandoned as general strategy because it was difficult to control and to enforce.

The Commission is seeking a solution to the problems, which takes the principles of consumer protection into

(1) OJ L 121, 29.7.1964.

(2) OJ L 317, 6.11.1981.
(3) OJ L 224, 18.8.1990.

(1999/C 31/058) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1499/98

by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE) to the Commission

(13 May 1998)

Subject: The information society and social and economic cohesion

When she appeared before Parliament’s Committee on Regional Policy on 23 January 1997 in connection with
the presentation of the Commission Communication on cohesion and the information society (COM(97) 7 final of
22 January 1997), Mrs Mathies, Commissioner, said that the information society should form an integral part of
Community structural policy. On this subject the Committee on Regional Policy, by means of report A4-0399/97,
has expressed its concern at the fact that only 2 % of expenditure under the Structural Funds goes to investment in
the telecommunication sector. It puts forward the view that expenditure on the information society should be
included in the ‘mainstreaming’ of the Structural Funds and it calls on the Commission to secure close
cooperation and coordination between the different programmes and activities in the area of information and
communication technologies (ICTs).

Could the Commission say how it has incorporated these requests into its final proposals on the reform of the
Structural Funds for the new 2000-2006 period (proposals which were adopted by the College of Commissioners
on 18 March 1997), with particular reference to the configuration of Objectives 1 and 2, the establishment of the
selection criteria and funding under those objectives?

(1999/C 31/059) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1503/98

by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE) to the Commission

(13 May 1998)

Subject: The information society and social and economic cohesion

In its Communication on cohesion and the information society (COM(97) 7 final of 22 January 1997) the
Commission states that ‘the information society also offers a great potential for the development of new forms of
employment and high-skilled jobs, especially by providing SMEs, as the main dynamic source of employment
creation, growth and competitiveness, with the instruments to innovate and adapt to a rapidly changing economic
environment’ (page 4). According to the Communication the access of SMEs to such potential should be
facilitated, since SMEs represent the backbone of regional economic structures, especially in least-favoured
regions (page 4). This should make it possible to prevent the establishment of a technocratic elite which would