the european pet food industry

The welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices

Workgroup: Communication committee 5 January 2017

FEDIAF supports the European Parliament call upon the European Commission to draw up an Action Plan to tackle the illegal trade in dogs and cats in the EU.

The recently published study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices, which was funded by the European Commission, revealed a number of areas of concern which could best be addressed at the EU level.

With as many as 18% of EU households owning a dog and 26% with a feline friend, this is an issue that is close to the heart of many EU citizens. In December 2016, 38 MEPs from all major political groups and 17 different countries sent a public letter to the Commission asking it to place this issue on its agenda by drawing up an Action Plan to tackle the illegal trade in dogs and cats. Such strong support from the European Parliament provides considerable weight for a call to action. The illegal trade in dogs and cats has implications which reach far beyond simply animal welfare, and also affects public health, consumer protection and the smooth functioning of the EU internal market.

FEDIAF reserve position:

FEDIAF is of opinion that the trade which affects hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats per year and poses risks to the health of EU citizens can only be tackled through a comprehensive approach at EU level involving the Commission, European Parliament and Member States. FEDIAF, therefore, looks forward to constructive cooperation among EU policymakers in the coming months to successfully tackle this abominable illegal trade in companion animals. Addressing this issue would be a step in the right direction in restoring citizens’ trust in the ability of European decision-makers to ensure the best protection of Europeans and their households all across the Union.