In Spain, cruelty towards hunting dogs remains worrying. According to estimates, approximately 100 000 greyhounds and hounds are killed each year in the most inhumane ways, for example, by hanging, poisoning and stoning to death. Spanish hunters say that the dogs are only good to use for one hunting season, after which dogs are killed en masse.
However, there is no certainty over the numbers, as more hounds and greyhounds are mass-bred than needed, so that the hunters are able to pick the ‘best individuals’.
A question for written answer on the subject was already tabled to the Commission 12 years ago, in 2005, but the situation in Spain has remained the same.
Are the Spanish authorities aware of the animal cruelty situation and has the topic been discussed with them? What action has the Commission taken in the past 12 years to improve this situation?
The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its replies to written questions E-010625/2010, E-000841/2011, E001043/2011, E-009212/2011, E-010202/2012, E-005475/2013, E-004661/2014, E-001003/2014 and E-007045/2014 on the same issue stating that the Commission received in the past complaints concerning the maltreatment of greyhounds in Spain (galgos).
Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires in particular the Member States to pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals in the context of certain Union policies. Article 13 does not apply to areas where the Union has no legal base to harmonise in the field of animal welfare.
The welfare of dogs is not governed by EU rules and this matter remains under the sole competence of the Member States. As a consequence, the Commission does not envisage taking specific action regarding this issue.