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Parliamentary questions
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28 October 2010
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-7544/2010

Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises animals as sentient beings and states that the Union and the Member States shall pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, when formulating and implementing its policies. However animal welfare is not in itself a primary objective of the European Union.

Indeed the EU has no harmonised rules on the welfare of stray dogs. This matter falls under the sole responsibility of the Member States.

In addition, as Ukraine is not a Member State of the EU, the Commission has in fact no competency to intervene in the internal affairs of a third country.

For the Honourable Member's information, the protection of stray animals is beginning to become an international issue. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has developed guidelines for the control of stray dog populations(1). Ukraine is a member of this organisation and it is hoped that these guidelines will influence policy in this country.

In these guidelines, killing is not considered as the sole solution for controlling the overpopulation of dogs. Systematic killing of stray dogs alone is unlikely to bring a long term solution to overpopulation as other important factors need to be tackled by the authorities. In any case when euthanasia is envisaged, it should be carried out with humane techniques that prevent suffering to the animals.


OJ C 243 E, 20/08/2011
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