Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission
The Commission takes animal welfare issues very seriously, and is currently working with Ukraine to bring its animal welfare legislation on the trade of food-producing animals in line with EU standards as part of the negotiations on a future EU‑Ukraine Association Agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
Ukraine also recently signed the European Convention on the protection of pet animals (CETS No 125), which is an initiative managed by the Council of Europe.
On the specific issue of the treatment of stray dog populations in Ukraine, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the answer to Written Question E‑9337/2011. The Commission has actively supported the work of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), of which Ukraine is a member, in developing international guidelines. However, beyond this, the Commission has limited means of addressing this particular issue, even in the context of negotiations on a trade agreement, as the welfare of stray dogs is not a matter covered by EU legislation.
At the same time, there do appear to have been some recent signs of progress on this matter, as, in November 2011, Ukraine’s Environment Minister reportedly called for an end to the practice of the brutal killing of stray dogs in the country.
The Commission will continue to promote animal welfare both at EU and international level.
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