Yesterday, the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) of the European Parliament has voted on the amendments to the proposal of the EU Commission for an Animal Health Law. Most of the suggested amendments have been presented by MEP Paulsen as rapporteur, and by MEP Jeggle as shadow Rapporteur. The ENVI and PECH Committees have also presented some amendments.
The amended text will be submitted to the plenary session in April 2014 and only after this vote the definitive version of the Animal Health Law will be adopted.
FOUR PAWS welcomes the result of yesterday's AGRI vote as there has been a clear demand from the Members of the European Parliament for more animal welfare in the Animal Health Law. Indeed, several animal welfare aspects have been added to the proposal of the EU Commission.
Here are the main ones.
More control of the EU Parliament
The MEPs clearly expressed the need for more control on the emergency measures that the EU Commission can take without any consultation of stakeholders and the other EU institutions.
Stray Animals are not falling under the scope of "wild animals". MEPs voted in favor of amendments requiring the creation of a new category: the non-owned animals of domesticated species. This is crucial not to let abandoned and not owned animals fall under the category of wild animals, in order to avoid a massive eradication of them, like it can be done with the so-called "invasive alien species". Dogs have to be considered as domestic animals, even if they are not anymore under humane direct control. It is not acceptable to create a two-class system for dogs, depending if they have an owner or not.
Identification and Registration
For the first time at the EU Level, MEPs have voted in favor of one amendment requiring Member States to establish for January 2018 a mandatory system of registration of all dogs. There is no distinction between stray and owned dogs in the text.
Moreover, until July 2019, the EU Commission will have to create a report on the experience gained by Member States by establishing these databases, and on the basis of this report, the EU Commission will have to make a proposal for the creation of a EU database for registration of dogs.
This is a major step. Since 2010, the platform CAROdog (www.carodog.eu), threw its experts, is pleading in favor of the establishment of such a database.