Romania has a stray dog population of 3 million, with many suffering from starvation and being held in inhumane conditions. My constituents are concerned that EU money given to Romania is being used to destroy these dogs.
Can the Commission give absolute assurance that any money given to Romania by the EU is not being used for the purpose of destroying healthy dogs?
What steps does the Commission take to ensure that taxpayers' money is not being spent on facilitating animal cruelty in Romanian animal pounds and shelters or facilitating the destruction of dogs?
For 2016, in the animal health field, the Commission is co-funding several programmes in Romania. These programmes are focused on animal disease control or eradication. None of them has as target species dogs, nor do they contain any measure related to facilitating animal cruelty or facilitating the destruction of dogs.
We can ensure this as the programmes are carefully assessed before approval, with their proposed measures checked to verify their appropriateness and compliance with relevant EU legislation. After approval, the programmes are followed through by means of several mandatory reports sent by the Romanian authorities ensuring a proper follow up on the actual implementation of the programmes. Additionally, on the spot visits are regularly performed to control the implementation of the programmes in the field. The Commission services have not detected any diversion of EU funds from the approved programmes to any measure related to facilitating animal cruelty or facilitating the destruction of dogs.