Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission
In line with Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Commission attaches great importance to animal welfare. A considerable body of Union legislation has already been adopted for the protection of animal welfare, which however does not concern the protection of stray animals. The EU's ability to legislate only relates to specific policy areas such as agriculture, internal market, health and consumer protection.
In relation to Serbia, the management of animal shelters and populations of stray animals by the national competent authorities remains under the remit of the Serbian government and is as such not covered by the accession process.
Nevertheless, the Serbian government has informed the Commission that, following complaints regarding the situation in dog shelters in Temerin and Subotica, the Serbian Veterinary Inspectorate has carried out several inspections in the two shelters and is preparing a report on the results of those inspections.
OJ C 48 E, 20/02/2014