Turkey: revision of the Animal Protection Law

In Turkey, the Animal Welfare Law is in process to be revised. Several animal welfare friendly good amendments were introduced but they have not all passed.

In particular, an amendment was planning a prohibition of the use of animals for entertainment (such as Circus or Delphinarium). Unfortunately this amendment failed because the opposition was too strong. 

But an amendment on companion animals passed: If the amendment is voted, it will be illegal to confiscate pets due to the debts of the owners. Moreover, it will be therefore prohibited to kill ownerless dogs (abandonned or not owned).

More information on http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ban-on-dolphin-parks-and-circuses-removed-from-animal-protection-bill.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67725&NewsCatID=339


France: a criticized amendment on the legal status of animals in the Civil Code

On April 15th, in the frame of a parliamentary work to simplify the Civil Code, an amendment has been voted providing that "domestic animals kept in captivity" are sentient beings. 

Some newspapers have immediately reacted in a very positive way, saying that this was a big improvement for animal welfare in France. Reality is very different. This amendment could be seen as a political maneuver to close the debate on the legal status of the animals.

End of October 2013, 20 intellectuals have signed a petition launched by the animal welfare organisation "30 Millions d'Amis", asking for a new Title in the Civil Code for the animals. Up to now, while the criminal code is considering the animals under a different Title than "goods" and "persons", the Civil Code is still considering the animals as "goods". 

Indeed, France has a very complex legal system for considering the animals that has not changed since 1976: 

  • Companion Animals are considered as "furnitures" by the Civil Code and also as "sentient beings" by the rural Code. 
  • Farm Animals are falling under the scope of "buildings" of the Civil Code, because they are linked to the farms or stabbles where they are kept. But the Rural Code also consider them as "sentient beings".
  • Wild Animals are considered as "res nullius", and are out of any legal protection

In parallel, two temporary working groups have been created in the Senate (directed by Chantal Jouanno) and in the National Assembly (directed by Geneviève GAILLARD) preparing a more ambitious project to change the legal status of all animals in France. Before any bill could have been introduced by one of these working groups, this unexpected amendment to the Civil Code has been introduced and voted on one evening, closing the debate.

This amendment is not removing the animals from the "goods" Title. It is also not giving any legal personality to the animals, that would permit a third person to claim damages on their names in case of mistreatments. Therefore this will have no legal consequence and will not improve the situation of the animals in France.

The change and the clarification of the legal status of the animals was a promise in 2012 when the actual President François Hollande was only candidate. But more recently, in february 2014 in the famous "Agricultural fair", the French President has said that "Farmers make enough effort to protect animal welfare and consequently it is not necessary to change the legal status of the animals". 

In short, this amendment will not change anything for the animals neither create a duty of men to take care of them. Despite this, some farmers organisations and hunters organisations are already fighting against…


Please find here below the relevant documents:


Brussels (BE): A project of medical house for allowing hospitalized people to keep their pet

In Brussels (Belgium), the Universitary Hospital "UZ Brussel" is currently building an house to permit hospitalized people to stay with their companion animals. The villa will be fully financed by donators and sponsors. The project is planned to end in 2016.

More information on http://www.lavenir.net/article/detail.aspx?articleid=DMF20131109_00387105


28.10.2013 EU Commission Conference "The welfare of dogs and cats in the EU "Watch it online !

Name:The welfare of dogs and cats in the EU – "Building a Europe that cares for companion animals"

Location: Brussels, EU Commission, Charlemagne Building


Live streaming: https://scic.ec.europa.eu/streaming/index.php?es=2&sessionno=a613863f6a3ada47ae5bca2a558872d1

Registration closed

Concluding Reporthttp://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/information_sources/docs/28102013-concluding_report_conference_dogs_and_cats_en.pdf


Continue reading 28.10.2013 EU Commission Conference "The welfare of dogs and cats in the EU "Watch it online !


The car manufacturer "Subaru" is looking to improve companion animals safety

The "Subaru" company is currently testing new security systems to protect better companion animals in car crash.  This research is done in collaboration with the Center for Pet Safety, a NGO specialised in creating better equipment to protect the lives of animals during accidents

More information on http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/08/12/subaru-looking-to-improve-animal-safety-in-cars/


New Animal Welfare legislation for Germany

Last week, the new German animal welfare legislation has been published. In the list of novalties brought by this legislation, you may find some improvement for companion animals (prohibition of breed defects, better qualification of animals handlers) and also some improvement for other kind of animals, such as the prohibition to use hot iron to mark horses.

Text of the new legislation (in DE) here


New rules for travelling with and trading of companion animals in the EU

Private and Commercial movement of companion animals will be facilitated up from 2014

Brussels, 1/VII/2013

After more than one year of discussion, the new Regulation replacing the so-called “pet passport Regulation” for private movement of companion animals such as dogs, cats and ferrets and a limited list of other animals such as reptiles has been published on Friday in the Official Journal of the EU (“OJEU”), as well as an amendment to the live-animals trade directive.

This legal change aims a better understanding of the rules by competent authorities, veterinarians and owners. The legal complexity and lack of enforcement of the previous legislation (has been an obstacle in many cases for serious owners and opened opportunities for non serious retailers) have been rather often undermined.


1.               Non-commercial (private) movement

On 29.12.2014, Regulation (EU) 576/2013 will come into force, replacing the old 998/2003. Reasons of the change are mainly the wish to “ensure that requirements are sufficiently clear and accessible to the ordinary citizen”. Non-commercial movement is defined as “any movement which does not have for aim the sale or the transfer of ownership of a pet animal”.

As the former one, the new Regulation is providing two lists of species in Annex with different requirements, based on susceptibility of the species to rabbies. The first one includes dogs, cats and ferrets and the second Annex includes other companion animals (such as fish, birds, rodents, reptiles)



For travelling with cats, dogs and ferrets, a new pet passport has been created by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 577/2013. This pet passport may be issued exclusively by authorized veterinarians for animals who are identified (by transponder or tattoo) and properly vaccinated against rabies. The movement of more than five animals will be considered as commercial movement, and will be consequently submitted to requirement of Directive 92/65 (see below “commercial movement”).


For travelling with other companion animals, an identification document will be created by an executive act of EU Commission. This executive act will provide species specific requirements for travelling. Before the adoption of this act, national requirements may apply. That specific requirement may apply to protected species listed in Annexes of CITES regulation and EU Regulation 338/97.  If the animals came from a third countries, extra requirements may be asked such as a rabies antibody titration.

„First of all we welcome lots of urgently needed clarifications for owners of dogs and cats,  competent authorities and veterinarians who have to work with this issue on a daily basis” stated Marlene Wartenberg, Director of the European Policy Office of VIER PFOTEN “the number of five animals is a clear criteria to make the difference to a commercial trade aspect – even with derogations. The fact that only veterinarian professionals can edit the pet passport is a good signal against illegal puppy trade and non serious breeders and retailers. On the other hand we would have preferred that  this Regulation has been adopted as a legislative procedure, which means that stakeholders including NGOs such as animal welfare organisations would have been consulted.”

Critically seen is by the animal welfare organization VIER PFOTEN also the fact that the derogations provided by the Regulation to the rabies vaccination requirements. Indeed the new legislation is providing that in limited cases, non-vaccinated animals may be transported. We are afraid that these derogations may let an open door to illegal movement of animals.  



2.               Commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets

Directive 92/65 of trade of live animals has been amended by Directive 2013/31/EU. Up from 29 December 2014, for commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets, the Pet Passport will be mandatory, as well as identification of the animal, the anti-rabies vaccination and a veterinary health certificate of less than 48 hours. These requirements are the same as if the animal would come from a third country.

These requirements were already existing in the previous legislation, but previously the health certificate had to be from less than 24 hours.


In general the owner of dogs and cats who want to travel with their animals have clearer rules and these are easier to understand, the legal certainty will increase as the pet passport will be provided by a veterinarian, and the market for illegally bred puppies will have less loopholes with this new legislation. But finally one problem is not solved: when a serious animal welfare organization wants to rescue dogs and cats from a threatening cruel act.



  • COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) No 577/2013 of 28 June 2013 on the model identification documents for the non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and ferrets, the establishment of lists of territories and third countries and the format, layout and language requirements of the declarations attesting compliance with certain conditions provided for in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:178:0109:0148:EN:PDF

European Parliament voted the legislative package on commercial and non-commercial movement of companion animals

Update: On 28th June 2013 the EU Parliament has definitively voted the legislative package

European Parliament voted in favour of the proposed legislative package on commercial and non-commercial movement of companion animals

On 23rd may 2013, the EU Parliament has voted in favour of the revised Schnellhardt Report on a proposed legislation on non-commercial movement and the proposed Regulation on commercial movement of companion animals


Continue reading European Parliament voted the legislative package on commercial and non-commercial movement of companion animals