EFTBA UPDATE – June 2012 EFTBA Activity
The EFTBA AGM on the 13th May was well attended in the magnificent location of Longchamp racecourse in Paris. Many issues of current concern and relevance were debated and the packed AGM agenda was followed by racing in the afternoon including a prize giving to Dietrich von Boetticher from Germany as the 2012 EFTBA award winner. Following the AGM many immediate actions were identified including:
• AQIS information to be sent to all members and also placed on EFTBA website
• African Horse Sickness. EFTBA write to the European Commission in support of a continued import ban and EFTBA members to write to
• EU draft working paper on zootechnics and breeding. EFTBA write immediately to the European Commission regarding the lack of clarity
in the clause 'approved breeding programme'.
• Forensic testing at sales. EFTBA to write to SITA asking for this to be put on the agenda
• DNA testing. EFTBA to write to SITA asking for this to be put on their agenda and EFTBA members also to ask their own national sales
• Lasix. EFTBA to respond and copy letter to members.
• European Parliament Agriculture Committee, Animal welfare in transport report. Members to provide translation of text provided at AGM
• Examining rules and possible changes to list of essential substances and withdrawal periods before equidae enter the food chain
• Leonardo funding information and national contact points to be sent to all members
European Union Developments in May EU Presidency and Council meetings - May Agriculture Council The Focus of the May Agriculture Meeting was on greening and modifications of the Commission’s proposal to make it easier for farmers to reach the proposed target. At present it is thought that these proposals will not present any difficulties at all for stud farms. The Danish Presidency aims to present a progress report on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy on the Council meeting on 18 June. European Horse Network - July 10th European Parliament Lunch The next EHN–MEP Horse Horse Group lunch briefing meeting will be held on the 10th July at the European Parliament. The main topic of this lunch is Horses in Sport which has been chosen in advance of the 2012 Olympic games where European competitors and horses are particularly strong. The subject of the financing of horse sport and racing will also feature. Welfare- Agriculture Committee own initiative report into Animal Welfare in Transport Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, Wojchiechowski’s own initiative report into Animal Welfare in Transport called, among other things, for restrictions in transport time for equidae. The deadline for amendments was the 30th May, and EFTBA undertook a lobbying campaign in several languages calling for members to table amendments to this clause - by making clear any restrictions should be focused on slaughter horses only. This was successful with support across the political parties for clarification. The vote on the amended report is scheduled in Committee for the 10th July. Support from MEPs for our proposed amendment was strong, and and we are confident that this should be integrated into the final report, to continue to strongly support derogations for sports, racehorses and bloodstock from the ever tightening restrictions on animal transport in the EU. This action shows how important it is to tightly monitor and react to any developments in the European Parliament which may (even unintentionally) affect the Racing and bloodstock sector. Welfare - EU Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 The vote on the report is scheduled for the 19th June with an indicative plenary hearing date (before the whole Parliament) on the 2nd July. The Parliament will report on a Communication from the Commission on this strategy, whose main purpose is to simplify and develop clear principles for animal welfare. There may also be some steps to look at common competence requirements for personnel working with animals. There does not seem at this stage to be any proposals which will directly impact upon Racing and breeding. Regarding competency requirements, which are at present vague, one step is a study by the Commission to look at animal welfare education and we have provided information on the many educational and training programmes and overall high standards of horse handling of our sector, to demonstrate that we are already self- regulated and operating to an extremely high standard. Gambling- European Parliament On the 27th June there will be a conference on gambling at the European Parliament. Gambling - Christopher Fjellner MEP question on the 11 May on French gambling regulations This MEP has tabled the following written question: “France notified its draft law on the regulation of online gambling to the Commission in March 2009. The draft law received a detailed opinion from the Commission in June 2009 raising issues of compatibility of some of its provisions with the rules of the Treaty, in particular the freedom to provide services. In the summer of 2009 the Commission sent a letter to the French authorities in which it made a number of critical observations on the draft law and requested them to provide more evidence in relation to certain restrictions(1). Firstly, the Commission expressed concerns regarding the effects of the capping of the payout ratio to players on the free movement of services in the EU. It asked the French authorities for evidence that this requirement is necessary and proportionate, expecting France to commit itself to producing a study assessing the effect of the measure on public and social order within two years of the entry into force of the law (12 May 2010). Secondly, the Commission asked the French authorities to produce a report on the application of the so-called ‘sports betting right’, in relation, in particular, to its effect on the freedom to provide services and its impact on the development of sport and the protection of the integrity of sports. 1. As the two-year deadline for the French authorities to send the evidence to justify the two abovementioned restrictions expired on 12 May 2012, can the Commission confirm that it has received these studies?
2. If so, can the Commission confirm whether it will make them publicly available and whether the studies provide evidence as to the suitability and proportionality of the measures to the claimed public interest objectives? 3. If this is not the case, can the Commission confirm that it will take action to ensure that these unjustified restrictions are removed?”
Animal Health and Welfare- Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health meetings 4&5 June meeting. No items of direct relevance.
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