Parliamentary question - E-004111/2011(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

The issues of stray dogs and their protection have already been addressed by the Commission in the replies to E‑3631/2010, E‑6744/2010 and E‑7928/2010[1].

1. Article 13 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union[2] requires the Union and the Member States to pay full regards to the welfare requirements of animals in the framework of specific EU policies[3]. However this article does not extend the use of EU competencies which according to Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union is governed by the principles of conferral, subsidiarity and proportionality.

More specifically the treatment of stray dogs is not subject to particular EU rules and there is no prima facie evidence that this issue falls within the remits of EU competences. Therefore the control of stray dog population remains under the sole responsibility of the Member States.

2 to 4. In the context of the preparation of the EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2011‑15, the Commission will consider possible actions for the protection of dogs. In particular the Commission could mandate a series of studies as suggested by the Council in its conclusions on the welfare of dogs and cats[4], with due regard to the principle laid down in the EU treaties.

5. Due to the absence of EU competences on stray dogs, the Commission can not consider subsidising actions in this field like programmes of catch, neutralisation, vaccination and release.

6 and 7. The killing of stray dogs in the EU is subject to regular correspondence of EU citizens but as previously stated, since the matter remains under the responsibility of the Member States, the Commission has no power to take particular action in this field.

OJ C 314 E, 27/10/2011