Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The welfare of dogs is not governed by EU rules as this matter remains under the sole competence of the Member States.
In November 2010, the Council of the European Union called on the Commission to perform studies on the welfare of dogs, including analysing the differences between the measures taken by the Member States regarding the breeding and EU trade in dogs and also to study and present, if justified, a specific proposal to restrict, in the European Union, the exhibition at public events of dogs and cats having undergone a non-curative surgical intervention (not aimed at preventing reproduction) and the trade in these animals(1).
The issue of the welfare of pet animals is also being considered in the context of the ongoing preparation of a future EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2011-15. In this context the Commission will consider options for improving the welfare of animals within the limit of the competences conferred by the Treaties.