Damage caused by wild animals and strays

27 June 2013


Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

Complaints are frequently being received from farmers regarding damage to crops and injury to livestock caused by wild animals and strays. In a number of Italian regions, measures are now being taken to preserve the wolf population, whose genetic identity is at risk from cross breeding because of the increasing number of stray animals. It is therefore necessary to formulate an effective strategy to prevent animals being allowed to run wild, while at the same time protecting the wolf population and conserving a balanced natural habitat in accordance with Directive 92/43/EC.
In view of this:
1.     Can the Commission say how effectively the Habitats Directive is being implemented?
2.     Can it say what measures are being taken to keep track of developments and contain the problem of stray animals?
3.     Does it not consider that specific damage containment and risk management funding measures should be included in the 2014-2020 CAP and regional development programmes, so as to ensure the sustainability of arable and livestock farming while complying with animal protection provisions?

9 August 2013    
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

1. According to Art.17 of Directive 1992/43/EEC(1) (‘Habitats Directive’), each Member State has to submit every six years a report on the implementation of the directive. The Commission then prepares a composite report based on the national reports. This composite report includes an evaluation of the progress achieved and is subsequently made available to the public. A report is available covering the period 2001-2006(2).

For the period 2007-2012 Member States had to report by 1 July 2013. A scoreboard is available on the state of Member States reports(3). Based on data currently being collected by Member States, the Commission will prepare the next composite report covering the period 2007-2012.

2. The problem of hybridization has been analysed by the ‘Guidelines for Population Level Management Plans for Large Carnivores’(4). It is for the Member States to take the necessary measures. European funding is available for specific measures such as the LIFE project IBRIWOLF(5) that is being implemented to define the problem and start implementing actions to remove hybrids in two areas of Tuscany. The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its reply to Written Question E-7929/2012(6) concerning the policy on stray dogs.

3. The rural development policy does not have any specific tools to address the problem of stray animals referred to by the Honourable Member. However, this policy provides for support which can be used by Member States to introduce preventive measures, such as investments in fences, to prevent this type of risks.

(1)    OJ L 206 , 22.07.1992.
(2)    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/knowledge/rep_habitats/.
(3)    http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_17/Reports_2013/Member_State_Deliveries.
(4)    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/conservation/species/carnivores/docs/guidelines_final2008.pdf
(5)    http://www.ibriwolf.it/.
(6)    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html