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Parliamentary question - E-007928/2012Parliamentary question

The stray dogs of Messina

Question for written answer E-007928/2012
to the Commission
Rule 117
Cristiana Muscardini (PPE)

‘Kill the dangerous strays!’ is the title of an article published in an online newspaper in Messina. The reporter, finding himself surrounded by around fifteen stray dogs, decided to tell his story in a so-called piece of journalism which ended with him issuing his scandalous appeal to a municipal administration that, in his view, had done little to stem the problem of stray dogs in the city, asking them for an explanation. Animal welfare activists and citizens reacted immediately to this article and the Partito Animalista Europeo (European animal rights party) even sent a letter to the chair of the National Association of Journalists to complain strongly about the article and its headline.

1. Given that freedom of expression, and therefore of the press, is a right of all citizens enshrined in the constitution of every democratic state, does the Commission not agree that certain vehement appeals divert attention from those who are really responsible for the proliferation of stray dogs?

2. What is the Commission's explanation for the frequent failure to enforce laws on stray animals, which seek to combat the problem through sterilisation, and how will the Commission work with Member States to ensure that there are no more exceptions to the rules? Would it be possible to finance further campaigns and activities in municipalities and by officially registered voluntary associations?

OJ C 308 E, 23/10/2013