1. The Commission is aware of the reports pointing to possible mistreatment of mares used for the collection of blood in non-EU countries but is not aware if Pregnant Mare’s Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG) is produced in the EU.
2. Directive 98/58/EC(1) applies only to animals bred or kept for farming purposes. Mares kept for the purpose of producing a medicinal product which is the case here, thus do not fall within its scope. For this reason it would not be possible to use Directive 98/58/EC as the legal base for the actions which the Honourable Member proposes, including any trade measures on this basis.
However, the animal welfare standard ‘Use of animals in research and education’(2) of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) covers this type of activity and should be properly implemented by OIE member countries, of which there are 180.
3. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework covers animal welfare issues in relation to animal health. Any animal welfare standards imposed by the EU on trading partners would need to comply with WTO law, e.g. requirements on non-discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail, transparency and a science-based approach.
There are currently no plans to amend the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to incorporate animal welfare as a criterion.