EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT 2009 – 2014
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
Mr Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
Subject: Opinion on the motion for a resolution by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris on dealing
with the problem of stray animals – B7-0079/2014, under Rule 120
Dear Mr President,
At the sitting of 6 February 2014, you announced that you had referred the motion for a resolution
tabled by Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris on dealing with the problem of stray animals – B7-
0079/2014, under Rule 120, to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development as the
At their meeting of 11 February 2014, the committee coordinators agreed that an opinion in letter
form on the motion for a resolution, under Rule 120(2), should be delivered.
The committee considered the motion for resolution at its meeting of 17/18 March 2014.
At this latter meeting
1 it adopted the conclusions below:
1. Despite an increase in the number of adoptions from animal shelters, the problem of stray
animals is still far from solved in the EU.
2. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development believes that the control methods
used to date – most of which involve capture and sterilisation – have failed to stem the
3. The committee notes that some Member States have employed drastic measures in this
context, including euthanasia.
4. Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires the EU and
Member States to ‘pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals’, since they are
sentient beings; however, despite the fact that the EU animal welfare legislation covers a
range of issues including breeding, slaughter and scientific research, it still contains no
provisions on stray animals.
5. According to recent estimates, there are more than 100 million pets in the EU.
6. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development therefore calls on the Commission to
draw up general guidelines on dealing with the problem of stray animals in accordance with
general animal welfare principles;
7. The committee considers that, by 1 January 2018, Member States shall introduce a
registration requirement for dogs; moreover, the Commission shall submit to the European
Parliament and the Council by 31 July 2019 a report on the experience of the Member States
with the registration and identification of dogs, with particular reference to stray animals.
8. Furthermore, the committee calls on the Member States to use part of their structural funding
to address the problem of stray animals, focusing first and foremost on the areas in which
the problem is most acute.
I should be grateful if you would forward this opinion to the Commission
Paolo De Castro