In countries such as Spain, veterinary clinics have remained open during lockdown, as they are essential to ensuring the health and welfare of people’s pets and animals in shelters, where hundreds of abandoned and mistreated cats and dogs are fostered.
These two sectors are important in communities like Galicia, where it is estimated that more than 40% of households have pets.
According to the World Health Organisation’s One Health criteria, the EU should take specific measures to rescue sectors that carry out important public work.
1. To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, is the Commission planning to introduce a rescue fund for the veterinary sector and animal protection organisations?
2. Is it aware of the important work that the veterinary profession does with regard to zoonotic disease prevention, food control and public health?
3. To counter the spread of false information on the transmissibility of coronavirus, is the Commission considering adopting a global strategy to promote the health and welfare of such animals during the pandemic?
The Commission supports the ‘One Health’ approach and the main piece of legislation in the area of animal health takes into careful account the close links between animal health and welfare, public health and food safety .
The COVID-19 pandemic primarily affects humans. The Commission’s priority is to guarantee the health of everyone, supporting the health systems and health workers, as well as other professionals including veterinarians.
The Commission is working to tackle the pandemic and to mitigate its consequences. Supportive measures, including financial and other incentives, are available and stakeholders may apply for them in their Member States.
The Commission is fully aware of the high importance of veterinarians, which play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and welfare of animals, and also in preventing diseases (including zoonoses) and contributing to public health and food safety. It recognises this role through various legislation and most notably through the Animal Health Law .
The Commission, working in cooperation with the EU agencies and looking closely at the recommendations provided by the World Organisation for Animal Health , is providing guidance on the transmissibility of COVID-19, including information on COVID-19 and animals  and COVID-19 and food safety .
 Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health.