Castration and vaccination of stray animals


30 January 2014

Angelika Werthmann (ALDE)


The number of stray animals is increasing rapidly in many Member States. These animals spread diseases and epidemics which may also be dangerous to humans. Castration of strays would prevent uncontrolled breeding of the animals. Furthermore, vaccination of the abandoned animals should at the same time stem the outbreak of diseases as well as the infestation of parasites.

1. What projects and measures are there in the EU for bringing an end to the uncontrolled spread of stray animals? Where do the financial means for these measures come from?

2. What projects and measures are there in the EU for preventing the outbreak of diseases and parasite infestation in stray animals?

3. Who provides the funds for these measures?

4. Are there other projects or measures which protect citizens from the dangers of diseases which may be transmitted by animals? How are they financed?

26 March 2014


Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

The Honourable Member is invited to refer to the answers to written questions E‐006543/2011, E-007161/2011, E-002062/2012 and E-005276/2013(1) which address the issues of stray dogs and of dog population management.

Taking into account the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, no specific Union animal health legislation is in place to prevent and control diseases in stray animals and stray dogs in particular. Thus this matter remains under the responsibility of the Member States.

However, EU legislation is in place aimed at preventing the spread of rabies(2) and Echinococcus multilocularis(3) via trade or non-commercial movements of dogs from one Member State to another or from third countries into the EU.

In addition, EU financial contribution is granted to Member States programs for the control and eradication of rabies. In particular, EUR  33 million have been allocated for the support of the rabies eradication programmes to be implemented by 13 Member States in 2014(4). The EU financial contribution for the rabies eradication programme is, however, limited to the reimbursement of the costs for the purchase and aerial distribution of the vaccine used in the campaigns against wild animals, such as foxes, as wildlife vaccination is the key measure to eradicate the disease from those areas of the EU where rabies still occurs.

(2) Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals and amending Council Council Directive 92/65/EEC (OJ L 146, 13.6.2003, p. 1).
(3) Commission adopted Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1152/2011 of 14 July 2011 supplementing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards preventive health measures for the control of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in dogs (OJ L 296, 15.11.2011, p. 6).
(4) Commission Implementing Decision 2013/722/EU of 29 November 2013 approving annual and multiannual programmes and the financial contribution from the Union for the eradication, control and monitoring of certain animal diseases and zoonoses presented by the Member States for 2014 and the following years (OJ L 328, 7.12.2013, p. 101).