Parliamentary question - E-009212/2011Parliamentary question

Mistreatment of Spanish Galgos

Question for written answer E-009212/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL) and Sabine Wils (GUE/NGL)

1. Is the Commission aware of the shocking acts of cruelty which continue to be perpetrated against Spanish greyhounds, or Galgos, which are bred in large numbers in Spain and the ‘poorer examples’ of which are then burnt alive, dissolved alive in chemicals, hanged or dumped in lakes or caves?

2. Does the Commission take the view that practices of this kind are consistent with Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which stipulates that Member States must pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals?

3. Since the Commission cited the second part of Article 13 of the TFEU as the justification for taking no action on this matter, on the grounds that killing Galgos is a cultural tradition, does it take the view that cultural traditions give people the right to mistreat animals in any way they choose? Where would the Commission draw the line on this matter?

4. Is the Commission aware that Article 337 of the Spanish Penal Code bans the mistreatment of animals and makes it a criminal offence?

5. With specific reference to the mistreatment of Galgos, what view does the Commission take of the fact that Article 337 of the Spanish Penal Code is simply not enforced?

6. Is the Commission prepared to urge Spain to enforce Article 337 of its Penal Code more effectively in connection with cases involving the serious mistreatment of animals?

7. If the Commission does not feel that one aspect of its role is to encourage Member States to enforce significant national legal provisions, why then is it encouraging Greece to enforce its tax laws more effectively, for example? Does the Commission regard animal welfare as secondary to economic matters?

8. Can the Commission confirm that no European subsidies are paid to Spanish farms where uncontrolled breeding of Spanish greyhounds and the appalling mistreatment of the dogs in question takes place? Is the Commission prepared to urge businesses or farms which are subsidised indirectly and which mistreat Galgos to halt these practices? Is the Commission prepared to impose financial penalties on the businesses in question?

9. In the context of the new European directive on animal welfare, will the Commission propose a solution to the problem of the mistreatment of Galgos, if indeed it addresses the problem at all? If not, what does the Commission feel that this would say about the value of the new directive as a whole?

OJ C 154 E, 31/05/2012