The phenomenon of stray and wild dogs is particularly serious in southern European countries. In many areas of Italy, Spain and Greece, stray dogs are associated with a range of health, economic and environmental problems.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), stray and wild dogs are direct and indirect carriers of disease, including rabies, leshmaniasis and toxoplasmosis. Problems associated with stray dogs include the high cost of maintaining kennels and shelters, a rise in the number of road accidents and an increase in urban and environmental deterioration. Moreover, the adverse ethological, ethical and social effects should not be underestimated.
In light of the above, can the Commission say:
— Whether it will adopt a containment strategy for populations of stray and wild dogs, without prejudice to the repeal of euthanasia as a means of controlling overpopulation;
— Whether — with specific reference to southern European countries — it will launch awareness-raising campaigns to curb the phenomenon of animal abandonment.
As the Commission pointed out in its answer to Written Question E-004588/2016, the matter referred to by the Honourable Member is not governed by EU animal welfare rules, but falls under the sole competence of the Member States. Similar replies were also provided to written questions E-002694/2016 and E-004111/2016.
In light of the above, the Commission is not considering taking initiatives in this area.