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IP/10/1228

Brussels, 30 September 2010

Animal by-products (ABP): European Commission requests Greece to comply with the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The European Commission has acted to ensure that EU rules on animal by-products are respected by Greece and has sent the Member State a letter of formal notice for not complying with a court judgement. In Case C-248/08, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Greece had failed to fulfil obligations under the EU Regulation on animal by-products. The Commission considers that the Greek authorities have not taken the necessary measures to comply with the ECJ's judgment. In case of unsatisfactory action from Greek authorities, the Commission may refer Greece back to Court and propose financial penalties.

What is the aim of the EU rules in question?

Animal by-products (ABP) are the parts of a slaughtered animal that are not directly consumed by humans. The use of certain ABP in animal feed can lead to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or other animal diseases or spread chemical contaminants such as dioxins. ABP can also pose a considerable threat to animal and human health via the environment, if not properly disposed of. To address these health risks, Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 introduced stringent conditions throughout the food and feed chains governing the safe collection, transport, storage, handling, processing, use and disposal of ABP.

How is Greece not respecting these rules?

The 2009 Court judgment ruled that Greece had failed to fulfill its obligations under Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 so far, as it regards burial in landfills without prior treatment, lack of official controls, authorisation of plants for the management of animal by-products and incineration of specified risk materials. Under Article 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Member States are obliged to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgments of the Court.

In the present case, the Commission considers that the Greek authorities have not taken yet the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the 2009 Court judgment. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice under Article 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Greek authorities have to comply within two months.

For more information, please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/animalbyproducts/index_en.htm

Further information on the infringement procedure:

IP/10/670

MEMO/10/457


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