In Italy, abandoned or stray dogs are kept in shelters whose operators receive state subsidies per individual dog. According to media reports, a system of dog shelters has developed where dogs are kept in confined spaces and undernourished, being given only just enough food to keep them alive at the lowest possible cost. In some instances, dogs have been bred in order to obtain additional subsidies. Dog shelters are overcrowded and no longer able to take in additional stray dogs so that the creation of even more shelters is being called for. According to these reports, the system is also supported through EU funding.
1. Is the Commission aware of this situation?
2. Does the Commission directly or indirectly support measures in this area and if so, on what legal basis?
3. If the Commission directly or indirectly makes payments to these dog shelters, on what legal basis does it do so and what is the amount of EU‑subsidies paid? Are the conditions related to the payment of such subsidies specified by the European Commission or by the Italian authorities and who ensures that these conditions are met?