21 February 2014
Marlene Mizzi (S&D)
The situation of stray dogs in Romania has reached a critical point. Romania’s current catch‐and-kill policy is not appropriate in 21st-century Europe. However, such practices are still occurring, sometimes financed by EU funds.
1. Does the Commission agree that it has legal competence to intervene in the issue of Romanian dogs, on the basis of EU legislation on public health? If not, why not?
2. Does Romania’s rabies eradication programme mention dog population control among the measures to be carried out?
3. Does the Commission agree that, as a matter of urgency, the funding of Romania’s rabies eradication programme should be made subject to an explicit requirement for Romania to implement long-term measures at national level for the management of its dog population in accordance with international best practice (in other words, to replace its current catch‐and kill-policy with more efficient and humane measures)? If not, why not?
4. Does the Commission continue to rule out the possibility that EU funds are being used, directly or indirectly, to finance the multi-million-euro catch-and-kill dog management business in Romania via local administration budgets? If so, on what grounds?
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