In May 2007, Mr. Bart Staes, a Belgian Member of the European Parliament (MEP), submitted a written Parliamentery Question (E-2632/2007) to the Commission.
The following is a transcript of the question submitted by Mr. Staes:
I regularly receive e mails drawing my attention to serbia’s use of European money to slaughter dogs and cats in a barbaric manner. In particular, the city of Nis is accused by animal rights activists of committing such excesses.
Apart from the fact that this is contrary to the humane treatment of animals – ‘sentient beings’ – the use of European funds for such practices is unacceptable.
Is the Commission aware of these practices, and is european money in fact being used ?
If so, what steps will the Commission be taking to put an end to such practices ?
Is the Commission attempting to prevail upon the Serbian authorities to put an end to such practices ?
If not, why not ?
In July 2007 an answer was given by Mr. Rehn, (Commissioner Rehn) on behalf of the Commission.
The Commission asked the european Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), to which the implementation of the majority of Community assistance to Serbia is delegated, to look into allegations that this assistance is being used to perpetrate the inhumane treatment of stray animals in Serbia, and in particular the city of Nis. The Commission has received confirmation that none of the assistance implemented by the EAR has been used for this purpose.
The Commission has no knowledge of whether bilateral member State assistance has been used, as these funds are not part of the European Community budget.
The Commission is aware of the need to ensure animal welfare and notes that this is one of manifold challenges that a country in transition, such as Serbia, will need to address in meeting internationally recognised norms.
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