Report from the Commission to the Council on the experience acquired on the implementation of Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes
/* COM/2006/0838 final */
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[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |
COM(2006) 838 final
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL
on the experience acquired on the implementation of Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes
REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL
on the experience acquired on the implementation of Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (Text with EEA relevance)
The proper enforcement of Community legislation in the field of animal welfare represents a priority for the EU citizens. In the last 25 years the EU has developed a substantial set of legislation on the protection of farmed animals and Member States are primarily responsible for its implementation.
The Commission has emphasized the need for securing efficient enforcement of existing EU legislation in this field. Indeed, this report is part of the key actions for 2006 by the Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals which stresses the need for a better implementation.
Directive 98/58/EC  on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes provides for general animal welfare requirements which derives from the approval by the Community  of the European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (Council of Europe Convention). This Convention contains subsequent recommendations on many animals' categories that Member States are due to implement. In addition the EU legislation on the protection of farm animals is further detailed by specific directives on laying hens (Directive 1999/74/EC  ), calves (Directive 91/629/EEC  ) and pigs (Directive 91/630/EEC  ).
Article 5(2) of Directive 98/58/EC requires for the Commission to submit a report to the Council on the experience acquired by the Member States since the implementation of the Directive, if appropriate accompanied by proposals. Before submitting any proposal to the Council, the Commission thinks that a more accurate picture of situation needs to be established, in particular through the improvement of the reporting system of the Member States.
This report will review the level of implementation by the Member States of the above-mentioned Community legislation and inform the Council of a Commission Decision which will replace Commission Decision 2000/50/EC  concerning the minimum requirements for the inspection of holdings on which animals are kept for farming purposes.
The experience acquired by the Commission on the enforcement of Decision 2000/50/EC indicated that it was necessary to:
- improve the transparency of the results of inspections carried out by the Member States in this field a nd,
- adapt this instrument to the new approach to food chain monitoring introduced by Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls of the food chain.
Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 foresees that Member States shall implement control plans and annual reports indicating the results of inspections conducted in several fields related to food safety including animal welfare. The regulation took effect on 1 January 2006.
Furthermore since 2003, the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy has introduced the concept of cross-compliance. In this framework direct payments to farmers will be granted only if compliance is met with certain animal welfare rules. This condition will apply, as far as animal welfare rules are concerned, from 1 January 2007. In this context there is an additional motivation for the Commission to anticipate the development of tools for evaluating enforcement of EU animal welfare rules on farm animals.
2. MAIN FINDINGS
2.1 Sources of information
Today in each Member State, animal welfare inspections are performed in the field and the findings reported to the central competent authority, which in turn, sent the data to the Commission. These data constitute the Member States' reports required by Decision 2000/50/EC (see Table 4 to 9 of the annex). In addition this report is also based on the inspection reports of experts from the Commission. Those experts are in charge of checking the proper enforcement of Community legislation in this field (see Tables 2 and 3 of the annex).
2.2 Transposition of EU legislation, guidance and training of officials
Today transposition of the EU legislation in national laws is satisfactory in most of the Member States visited by the experts from the Commission. The reality of the transposition of the EU legislation is however quite mixed. Some Member States have implemented welfare standards that go beyond Community standards while other Member States have delayed the application.
In addition in certain cases, the experts from the Commission identified that in certain Member States insufficient training or guidance of the official inspectors was the biggest factor resulting in unsatisfactory inspections.
2.3 Improvements still needed for planning and performing inspections
From 2000 to 2003 the experts from the Commission found that few competent authorities set up specific national programmes that could provide a satisfactory level of monitoring and enforcement. However from 2004 to 2005 progress has been achieved in many Member States to address this deficiency.
Checks were often made on the farm for other purposes (i.e. for example animal health programs, residue checks). The integrated approach for inspecting farms presents many advantages, provided that all the aspects to be inspected are planned and performed with equal efficiency. However, in many instances, animal welfare was left to local initiatives while other programs get much higher priorities.
This situation has lead in some cases to perform animal welfare inspections in a rather superficial way. This problem has been partially corrected by a number of competent authorities who have developed more detailed checklists on animal welfare.
There is also a recent improvement in some Member States concerning the selection of farms to be inspected. It seems to derive from the progressive implementation of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 as well as the increasing awareness of the authorities of the immanent link between the compliance with welfare requirements and the granting of direct payments (Regulation on cross-compliance).
However there is still progress to be achieved where inspections on animal welfare are not performed in any meaningful detail.
2.4 Recording and reporting system: mixed results
The data available today to the Commission demonstrate that details of inspections and subsequent actions were not systematically recorded in some Member States with sometimes no proper reporting system in place.
On the other hand, some Member States have developed electronic reporting systems that allow quick and accurate consolidation of data.
Experience shows that the use of proper checklists that includes all the requirements of Directive 98/58/EC is essential to cover all the welfare aspects of a holding. Although progress has been achieved recently in some Member States, there are still too many cases where checklists are limited to the species specific legislative requirements or sometimes even missing. This fact limits the importance of the information collected.
In addition, to obtain a proper picture of the situation at national and EU level data on inspection should be collected under harmonised categories as the ones provided by Decision 2000/50/EC. The experts from the Commission reported that checklist design do not always ensure that all the criteria were inspected.
2.5 Major difficulties in obtaining and interpreting the data from Member States (Tables 4 to 9 of the annex)
For period 2000-2001 only three Member States sent satisfactory reports on time (i.e. before 30 April 2002) and only one for the 2002-2003 period. For both periods the Commission had to remind the Member States of their reporting obligations either because no report was provided or not under the appropriate format or because the data presented major inconsistencies (see Table 1 of the annex).
Member States data are difficult to interpret for two reasons:
(a) Inconsistency of the data provided by the same Member States;
(b) Likelihood of very different methodologies in collecting data between the Member States.
The Commission tends to conclude that differences in data between Member States may be more due to differences in the way the number of inspections is calculated rather than the actual performance.
2.6 Technical findings from Member States reports
The infringements reported by Member States were mostly related to four categories defined by Commission decision 2000/50/EC: buildings, freedom of movements, record keeping and inspection.
As regards the category " buildings ", the definition includes improper design of the buildings and equipments as well as inadequate use of the facilities such as ventilation or lighting programs. Pigs farms are more frequently mentioned in this category of infringements than other species.
The category " freedom of movements " includes overcrowding of animals. This category of infringement is reported equally for all species (calves, pigs and laying hens).
The categories " inspection " and " record keeping " relates respectively to the improper examination of the animals and the insufficient traceability of the medical treatments and mortalities observed by the farmer.
Officials of the Commission regularly carry out on-the-spot visits as to stimulate the efforts of the Member States for better rate of compliance. Furthermore since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, Member States need to adjust their national control plan as to take into account the results of their official controls as well as the one carried out by the Community.
3. COMMISSION DECISION 2006/778/EC
From the above, it appears that although Member States carry out controls on animal welfare, the reporting lacked consistency and transparency. As a consequence the data available to the Commission are of little use in order to improve the situation, in particular to support the initiatives foreseen in the Community Action Plan for the Protection and Welfare of Animals.
As a consequence, the Commission adopted a Decision as to improve the reporting system of the Member States. This decision, which will apply from 1 January 2008, addresses a number of issues identified in this report.
It will contribute to harmonise the methodology for the reporting by Member States on the results of their inspections. It will also help the Member States to better manage their resources and improve the visibility of their action to the general public.
Furthermore it will facilitate the work of the Commission in evaluating the respect of the EU legislation and contribute in the decision making process, in particular allowing an impact assessment of the future policies. This is the case for animals' categories covered by recommendations of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.
4. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
However the Commission believes that the present mandate given by the Council for implementing Directive 98/58/EC can not address all issues raised here and further initiatives are necessary.
First there is a concern expressed by certain competent authorities over excessive bureaucracy. The Commission is also of the opinion that procedures need to be simplified as to privilege actions over paperwork. At the same time, citizens ask for more transparency and communication on the actions carried out by their public administration.
Secondly there is an increasing integration of animal welfare issues within other Community policies and in particular within the Common Agriculture Policy (organic farming, rural development, cross-compliance) and the Research Policy. This implies that the developing an accurate reporting system at Community level will not only serve animal welfare objectives but also will contribute in the evaluation of other EU policies and to better address future research needs.
Thirdly it is necessary for competent authorities to improve the level of awareness and technical know-how of their officials in charge of checking animal welfare requirements in farms.
To address those issues the Community is studying the possibility to:
( make Member States reports on animal welfare inspections publicly available through internet, subject to the conditions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents;
( Realise a feasibility study on the development of a software application assisting the Member States in collecting information related to animal welfare inspections at farms;
( Develop a more comprehensive training policy for Member States officials responsible for inspections on animal welfare at farm.
TABLE 1 – LEVEL OF COMPLIANCE OF THE MEMBER STATES' REPORTS
Type of compliance/ non compliance | 2000-2001 reports | 2002-2003 reports |
Full compliance | DE, FI, LU | DE |
In compliance but not on time | BE, FR, IE, UK | AT, BE, FI, IE, UK |
In compliance after reminder | AT, DK, IT, NL, SE | DK, ES, FR, IT, SE, LU, NL |
Not in compliance | ES, EL, PT | EL, PT |
TABLE 2 - LIST OF INSPECTIONS CARRIED OUT BY EXPERTS FROM THE COMMISSION 2000-2003
Member States | Dates | Reference | Scope |
Pigs | Calves | Laying hens |
AT Austria | June 2000 | DG SANCO 1099/2000 | x | x |
May 2000 | DG SANCO 1009/2000* | x |
BE Belgium | September 2000 | DG SANCO 1103/2000 | x | x |
May 1999 / Jan. 2000 | DG SANCO 1012/2000* | x |
DE Germany | November 2001 | DG SANCO 3382/2001 | x | x | x |
March 2000 | DG SANCO 1057/2000* | x |
DK Denmark | May 2000 | DG SANCO 1098/2000 | x | x |
ES Spain | September 2001 | DG SANCO 3344/2001 | x | x | x |
EL Greece | June 2002 | DG SANCO 8522/2002 | x | x | x |
March 2000 | DG SANCO 1133/2000* | x |
FR France | October 2000 | DG SANCO 1263/2000 | x | x |
FI Finland | June 2001 | DG SANCO 3312/2001 | x | x | x |
June 2000 | DG SANCO 1160/2000* | x |
IT Italy | October 2001 | DG SANCO 3385/2001 | x | x | x |
IE Ireland | October 2001 | DG SANCO 3383/2001 | x | x | x |
LU Luxembourg | November 2001 | DG SANCO 3343/2001 | x | x | x |
January 2000 | DG SANCO 1013/2000* | x |
PT Portugal | May 2000 | DG SANCO 1158/2000* | x |
SE Sweden | March 2000 | DG SANCO 1101/2000 | x | x |
April 2000 | DG SANCO 1135/2000* | x |
UK United Kingdom | March 2000 | DG SANCO 1102/2000 | x | x |
Pigs | Calves | Laying hens |
DE Germany | March 2004 | DG(SANCO)7018/2004 | x |
DK Denmark | January 2004 | DG(SANCO) 7208/2004 | x |
EE Estonia | September 2005 | DG(SANCO)7714/2005 | x |
ES Spain | February 2004 | DG(SANCO)7230/2004 | x |
February/March 2005 | DG(SANCO)7548/2005 | x |
FR France | March 2004 | DG(SANCO)7231/2004 | x |
IT Italy | May 2004 | DG(SANCO)7010/2004 | x |
May 2005 | DG(SANCO)7636/2005 | x |
LV Latvia | May/June 2005 | DG(SANCO)7637/2005 | x |
NL Netherlands | January- February 2005 | DG(SANCO)7512/2005 | x |
PT Portugal | February 2005 | DG(SANCO)7544/2005 | x |
PL Poland | June/July 2005 | DG(SANCO)7638/2005 | x |
UK United Kingdom | January 2004 | DG(SANCO)7019/2004 | x |
TABLE 5 – MEMBER STATES REPORTS ON LAYING HENS (2002-2003)
LAYING HENS 2002+2003 | (a) Number of holdings(1) | (b) Number of inspections(2) | % inspection (b/a) | (c) Number of infringements per technical area | (d) Total number Infringements | % infringements (d/b) |
TABLE 6 – MEMBER STATES REPORTS ON CALVES (2000-2001)
CALVES 2000+2001 | (a) Number of holdings (1) | (b) Number of inspections(2) | % inspection (b/a) | (c) Number of infringements per technical area | (d) Total number Infringements | % infringements (d/b) |
TABLE 7 – MEMBER STATES REPORTS ON CALVES (2002-2003)
CALVES 2002+2003 | (a) Number of holdings(1) | (b) Number of inspections(2) | % inspection (b/a) | (c) Number of infringements per technical area | (d) Total number Infringements | % infringements (d/b) |
TABLE 8 – MEMBER STATES REPORTS ON PIGS (2000-2001)
PIGS 2000+2001 | (a) Number of holdings(1) | (b) Number of inspections(2) | % inspection (b/a) | (c) Number of infringements per technical area | (d) Total number Infringements | % infringements (d/b) |
TABLE 9 – MEMBER STATES REPORTS ON PIGS (2002-2003)
PIGS 2002+2003 | (a) Number of holdings(1) | (b) Number of inspections(2) | % inspection (b/a) | (c) Number of infringements per technical area | (d) Total number Infringements | % infringements (d/b) |
 COM(2006)13 and COM(2006)14.
 OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23.
 Decision 78/923/EEC (OJ L 323, 17.11.1978, p. 12).
 OJ L 203, 3.8.1999, p. 53.
 OJ L 340, 11.12.1991, p. 28. Directive as last amended by Commission Decision 97/182/EC (OJ L 76, 18.3.1997, p. 30).
 OJ L 340, 11.12.1991, p. 33. Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2001/93/EC (OJ L 316, 1.12.2001, p. 36).
 OJ L 19, 25.1.2000, p. 51.
 Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (OJ L 165, 30.4.2004, p. 1).
 Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 ( OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 1).
 1 January 2006.
 OJ L 314, 15.11.2006, p. 39.
 Comitology procedure is mainly limited to the reporting obligations of the Member States (Article 6(3) of Directive 98/58/EC).
 OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.
 Compliance with Decision 2000/50/EC concerning the minimum requirements for the inspection of holdings on which animals are kept for farming purposes.