Rabies programme in Romania


11 February 2014

Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

The Commission replied in its answer to Written Question E-013324/2013 that the rabies programme in Romania only concerns the vaccination of foxes and that Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union does not provide a legal basis for the EU to act in this case.

1. Does the Commission acknowledge that it has legal competence to intervene in relation to the issue of Romanian dogs, on the basis of EU legislation on public health?

2. Does Romania’s rabies eradication programme mention dog population control among the measures to be carried out?

3. Does the Commission acknowledge that Romania’s rabies eradication programme should be clarified as a matter of urgency by way of an explicit condition to the effect that Romania must implement long-term measures at national level for the management of its dog population in accordance with international best practice? In other words, the current ‘catch and kill’ policy should be replaced by more efficient and humane measures.

4. Does the Commission continue to rule out the possibility that EU funds are, directly or indirectly, being used to finance the multi-million-euro ‘catch and kill’ dog management business in Romania via local administration budgets?

7 April 2014

Joint answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

Written questions :E-001404/14 , E-002108/14

1. Decision No 1082/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 set up provisions for implementation of EU surveillance of rabies cases in humans and alert notification through the EU Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) of all the rabies events, including those in dogs, which cause or might cause a serious cross-border threats to public health.

2 and 3. The co-funded measures approved for Romania's Rabies programme are the purchase of oral vaccine baits and their aerial distribution in order to vaccinate foxes against rabies and the reimbursement of those costs are based on invoices.

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 any massive ‘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 is not responsible for the application, at national level, of measures non‐ listed in the approved programme.

4. As regards the alleged misuse of EU funds in support to animal welfare, these aids are only payable to improve husbandry standards for farm animals. Stray dogs would not be eligible.

(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