Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
No EU harmonised legislation governs the protection of stray animals, and the matter comes under the sole responsibility of the Member States.
However, the protection of stray animals is becoming an international issue. The Commission has coordinated the EU position at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to develop guidelines for the control of stray dog populations.
In addition, the Belgian Presidency has initiated a debate at the Council on the welfare of dogs and cats and on possible EU harmonisation. The issue of stray dogs and shelters has been raised during the first debate at the expert working group level that took place on 22 September 2010. The Commission will closely follow this debate and examine the possible conclusions that could be drawn from this exchange of views between Member States.
OJ C 243 E, 20/08/2011