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Stray dogs

Stray Dogs

© chelle129 / Fotolia

In the aftermath of a deadly dog attack on a four-year-old boy in Romania, the government’s adoption of a new law for the mass euthanasia of stray dogs has created an overwhelming reaction from citizens throughout Europe. Animal rights activists abhor what they see as brutal treatment of dogs and plead for an improvement to be made in stray animal management strategies.

The European Parliament is aware of the existing problems in the control of the companion animal population in some Member States, including the welfare of stray dogs.


Although Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires paying full regard to the welfare requirements of animals when formulating and implementing some EU policies, it does not give a legal base nor require addressing all animal welfare issues. The welfare of stray animals is therefore not governed by EU rules and remains under the sole responsibility of the Member States.

Parliamentary resolution

As far as the European Parliament is concerned, it attaches great importance to animal welfare. In view of a large number of petitions received from EU citizens, a resolution on the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of pets and stray animals [2012/2670(RSP)] was adopted on 4 July 2012. This resolution calls on the Commission, inter alia, to put forward stray animal management strategies.

Conference of the European Commission

As a contribution to the debate on the practical considerations that relate to companion animal welfare and what further action is needed for its improvement, a conference on the welfare of dogs and cats in the European Union “Building a Europe that cares for companion animals”, organised by the European Commission, took place in Brussels on 28 October 2013.

Intergroup Welfare and Conservation of Animals

In addition, the EP’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals appealed to the Romanian President to ensure that uncontrolled killings of stray dogs will be avoided. Please consult the EP’s Intergroup’s website for more information.


Petition number 1561/2013 has been introduced on this issue. Further information on the right of petition to the European Parliament may be found on EP’s petition website.

Any questions on this issue or another EP-related concern? Please use our web form. You ask, we answer.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.


11 thoughts on “Stray dogs

  1. I think it´s a shame that the EP/EU is letting this happen! Dogs are being tortured, beaten to death or being burnt alive, and all you can do is say that the membercountries can have these kind of laws! It´s 2014 and animals still don´t have any protection by law. It just shows that you don´t give a crap.. It´s all about the money..

    Posted by Camilla | December 9, 2014, 10:55
    • @Camilla: As for any other issue, the EP acts in accordance with its powers established by the EU treaties. The treaties set a clear division of competences between the Union and the Member States. This is a key principle for the functioning of the EU. The EP has used the existing means and it has pushed for the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of pets and stray animals.

      Posted by AskEP | December 9, 2014, 16:08
  2. This horror has to stop. Every animal has the right to live and i mean a good life….dont kill them ,help them to get a better life en try that they can be adopted by good people and also in other country’s…………PLEASE DON’T KILL THEM

    Posted by patricia godrie | January 19, 2014, 20:25
    • There has to be very heavy penalties for those, why abuse and kill strays, implemented in EU and Member – states legislation which to be proceeded in Justice and Law systems of all members of EU. Animal police is needed to be created in all member -states, to investigate and arrest and to proceed criminal charges.Specialized Courts for proceeding Criminal charges have to be created.Huge fines and Jail penalties for owners, who miscarried and throw their pets out of the streets, for those, who abuse, or even kill those animals have to be issued.

      Posted by Yovka Zlateva | January 25, 2014, 13:20
  3. Animal police had to be established with General Headquarters in Brussels,Laws had to be taken seriously ,and be performed strictly by All Courts in the EU states.Owners,that disposed their pets at the streets had to pay immense fines. There must be established huge penalties for those,who has cruel behavior against all street or home situated animals. There has to be Jail-handling for such people. Animals” Courts also had to be established in All Member states. As We -Humans have our Rights, so have Animals, Am I right?

    Posted by Yovka Zlateva | January 14, 2014, 11:59
  4. Good day , Im Dany George from Romania City Galati and i have just one big and impoortant question for European Parliament, Why the European Parliament and European Comunity are keeping clouse his eyes about engrave abuze of law and miscarriage of justice and high level of Romanian governament and president coruption in Romania ,who made from a democracy a real base fundament for a real political coruption and a new dictature ,? a more dangerous one like before was in comunism party ?….And why you let the Romanian Governament and political system from Romania to make misteakes one by one and transform the Democracy concept into a dictature of political force, coruption and abuse in all thinks and to loose the spirit of Democracy concept to, destroy it the freedom and humean rights of Romanian Cityzens ?? why European parliament don’t use his influence and power of decision for the members of European Comunity like in this case we talk about Romania..?Thanks for your future answer , im impatiente wait for. all my best regards Dany George.

    Posted by Dany George | January 14, 2014, 09:50


  1. Pingback: Ask EP – You asked, we answered | European Parliamentary Research Service - December 22, 2014

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