From an animal protection point of view, the situation of street dogs in Romania is appalling. In a reply it gave in 2013 (Reply to Complaint CHAP/2013/3076), the Commission listed examples of measures to address this problem. However, three years later the problems of Romanian street dogs are still far from being resolved.
According to information from animal welfare organisations, there are EU-subsidised animal ‘sanctuaries’ where street dogs are held under very harsh conditions: they are not allowed to see daylight, there is overcrowding, diseases spread and dog fights occur, which are sometimes fatal.
Many of these animal sanctuaries are acting not to protect dogs, but to pocket EU subsidies for their own private gain. Just as with many other EU-subsidised projects in Romania, the money does not arrive at its intended destination. List of questions:
— The measures described by the Commission in its letter in 2013 have probably not been implemented in Romania, or not sufficiently. What does the Commission consider that it can do to change the current situation?
— Has the Commission looked into, and attempted to combat, EU subsidy fraud at many of the dog sanctuaries in Romania?
— What monitoring mechanisms does the Commission use to identify and halt the activities of owners of dog sanctuaries who do not respect animal rights?
The Honourable Member is invited to refer to the answers to written questions E-006602/2014, E-009782/2014, E-002610/2016 and E-002694/2016 which address the issues of stray dogs, the dog population management and the respective EU funding.
In the reply to the complaint referred to by the Honourable Member, the Commission clearly stated that its actions were only to support the work of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) through the promotion and the implementation of international standards in this area.
However, the Commission also clearly reminded in its reply, that this issue remains under the sole competence of the Member States and therefore the Commission has no legal basis to take any initiative in this field.