11 February 2014
Claude Turmes (Verts/ALE)
Romania’s rabies eradication programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, and the ‘control of the population of dogs’ was explicitly listed among the measures agreed to be implemented under the programme.
Romania is in the process of implementing dog population control through massive ‘Catch and Kill’ actions.
Does the Commission think that this programme respects the principle of EC law which calls for the choice of effective policies based on international best practice in this field?
Does the Commission think that, under the circumstances described, Romania’s rabies eradication programme is still legally eligible for co-financing from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund?
Can the Commission guarantee that other EU funds granted to Romania under other EU programmes are not being used directly or indirectly to fund Romania’s large-scale dog management programme?
28 March 2014
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
Today large areas of the EU enjoy the rabies free status. The EU is currently funding an eradication programme against rabies in 13 Member States. Romania is one of these Member States, beneficiary of the EU co-funding for this type of programme since 2008.
As rabies in Europe is predominately sylvatic rabies, the co-funded measures approved for this programme are the purchase of oral vaccine baits and their aerial distribution in order to vaccinate foxes against rabies and the testing of samples taken from wild animals collected in the field in order to monitor the immunisation of foxes.
The programme to be implemented in 2014 approved by Commission implementing Decision 2013/722/EU(1) lists other measures to tackle this important zoonosis, including the vaccination of domestic carnivores but those measures are not co-funded by EU.
The approved programme does not include ‘catch and kill’ of dog population as general control measure. However, euthanasia of carnivores is listed as measure in case they have been scratched or bitten by animal with Rabies or killing is foreseen in case they show clinical sign of Rabies: all those measures are not co-funded by EU.
The Commission bases its evaluation of the programme on experts' advice that take into account the principle of EC law and international best practices in the field.
The Commission is not responsible for the application, at national level, of measures non‐ listed in the approved programme. The EU contribution for the rabies eradication programme is limited to the reimbursement of the costs for the purchase and aerial distribution of the vaccine used in the campaigns against wild animals, based on invoices.
(1) Commission Decision 2013/722/EU‐ OJ L 328 of 7/12/2013, p.101. http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/docs/adopted_2013_722_eu_en.pdf