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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/195

The Commission invite the Honourable Members to provide, if available, more information about the
incident referred to in the questions, which would allow the Commission to judge whether it is
appropriate to take action at Community level.

(1) OJ L 175, 19.7.1993.

(2) OJ L 186, 30.6.1989.
(3) OJ L 290, 24.11.1993.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general
principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down
procedures in matters of food safety, OJ L 31, 1.2.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/216) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3260/02

by Hanja Maij-Weggen (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(19 November 2002)

Subject: Treatment of stray animals (dogs and cats) in Greece

Is the Commission aware that, in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games, the Greek Government is
planning to catch stray animals in special traps, shut them up in animal homes and, unless an owner or
potential owner appears within seven days, kill them?

Will the Commission ask the Greek Government to solve this problem in a more humane way, preferably
in cooperation with Greek animal welfare organisations such as CIDAG?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(14 January 2003)

The Commission shares the view of the Honourable Member that unnecessary suffering of animals is not

The Commission places great importance on animal welfare and the first Community regulation on this
subject was established as far back as 25 years ago. The Community has adopted general rules on the
rearing of animals with the view to protecting their welfare. More detailed conditions have been laid down
on the rearing of calves, pigs and laying hens. The Community has also passed legislation on animal
transport and the conditions for the slaughter animals.

Community rules also exist on the use of animals for scientific research. Community legislation on animal
transport and on the use of animals for scientific research is applicable to cats and dogs.

However, the way stray dogs are dealt with is a matter where the Community has no general legal
competence. Within the Union, this domain is under the sole responsibility of the Member States. The
issue should therefore be raised with the Greek authorities.

(2003/C 110 E/217) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3266/02

by Renzo Imbeni (PSE)
and Guido Podestà (PPE-DE) to the Commission
(19 November 2002)

Subject: Seat of the European Food Safety Authority

Now that the top-level managers responsible for European food safety policy have been appointed in both
the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority, is the Commission ready to take steps to ensure
that a decision is reached as soon as possible on the definitive seat of the European Food Safety Authority
so that it can start carrying out its tasks under optimum conditions?
C 110 E/196 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

How does the Commission intend to persuade the Council and the Heads of State or Government to
comply with the functional criteria set by the Commission itself and the European Parliament when taking
their decision?

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(23 December 2002)

The Commission regrets that the Council has not been able to conclude on the seat of the Authority. It
also regrets that the absence of a decision has led the Parliament to place a substantial proportion of the
Authority’s budget in reserve until a solution to the seat question is found. These negative elements clearly
inhibit the rapid establishment of the Authority, an objective shared by all three institutions. The
uncertainty in relation to the seat has an adverse effect on the ability to recruit and retain the highly
qualified and experienced personnel on whom the Authority’s success will ultimately depend. It also creates
practical difficulties resulting from the need to establish a temporary location.

In accordance with the wishes of the Council, the Commission has taken the necessary steps for the
Authority to begin operations in Brussels. It has undertaken the necessary preparatory work to provide the
Authority with its essential basic administrative and technical infrastructure.

The decision on the Seat is ultimately a matter for the Council. The Commission has stated on many
occasions that it believes that the seat of the European Food Safety Authority should be determined on the
basis of its operational needs. The Commission therefore considers that it should have a central location to
facilitate easy exchange between the risk assessor, risk manager and with other stakeholders throughout
the Community. It is also important that the Authority is easily and rapidly accessible to the large number
of voluntary scientists from all over the Union who will regularly attend meetings to establish the
European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) scientific advice.

(2003/C 110 E/218) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3267/02

by Joan Vallvé (ELDR) to the Commission

(12 November 2002)

Subject: Chicken imports from third countries

The chicken-producing sector is of particular importance to the Catalan agro-foods industry, accounting
for a large part of total agricultural output, and employing a wide-range of services including brooder
houses, farms, slaughterhouses, waste facilities, processors and service and distribution companies.

Catalan chicken production annually accounts for 173 million birds and almost 300 000 tonnes, over one
third of total Spanish production.

One of the EU’s major objectives has always been and continues to be guaranteeing the safety of food
production, in order to eliminate all health risks to consumers. The relevant Community regulations are
for that reason extremely demanding in terms of animal feed, residues of medical products administered,
and conditions governing the handling and use of food products.

Current EU imports of frozen processed chicken from third countries are not insignificant; available data
indicate that over 200 000 tonnes were imported by the EU in 2001, mainly from Brazil and Thailand.

These imported products too must meet the health guarantees laid down by the EU for home-produced

What control mechanisms exist on the Member States’ external frontiers to guarantee that chicken imports
from third countries comply with Community health legislation?