12.11.15 Brussels Conference “Welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices”

Title: Welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices

Date:Thursday, 12 November 2015 from 09h00 – 17h45

Location:Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union, Rue Belliard 60-62, 1040 Brussels

Registration: via e-mail under veranstaltung@bruessel.bwl.de

AgendaAgenda of the Conference

Continue reading 12.11.15 Brussels Conference “Welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices”


France : A new law to limit private breeding of dogs and cats and Internet trade of these animals

On 7 October 2015, a French ordinance “related to the trade and protection of companion animals” has been published. It aims to limit the uncontrolled private/non-professional breeding of dogs and cats and the resulting trade, most of the time done through online classified ads.

Up to now, the French law provided that private people were allowed to breed dogs and cats without respecting any requirements or paying any tax, as long as they do not sell more than two litters a year. In practice, enforcement of this law proved to be impossible[1], resulting in unfair competition to license/ professional breeders and uncontrolled online market. Therefore the new law aims to revaluate the status of breeder and make the dog and cat market more secure and controllable. With the new law, up from 2016, anybody who wants to sell one dog or cat will have to be declared at the Tax Services, and get a unique tax number (called SIREN). This number will have to be written in all classified ads for selling dogs and cats and online platforms will have to create checking systems to check the validity of the SIREN number. Moreover, potential buyers will be able to check themselves the validity of this tax number and will have access to the data of the seller (like his complete name and his postal adress)[2]. This is an encouraging first step for a better traceability of the online sellers and therefore for better protection of the buyers.

In addition, the ordinance also sets some new requirements aiming to improve the welfare of companion animals involved in commercial practices. Among others, there will be stricter requirements regarding the training of dog breeders or shelter staff. Before that, only the sale of dogs and cats of less than 8 weeks were prohibited. Now it also applies to free-gift of dogs and cats. Moreover, in case of free-gift of the animals, the ad will have to precise explicitely that no monney will be asked, in order to avoid SCAMs.

Another good progress for animal welfare brought by this law concerns confiscation of abused animals. Now, the Courts have to decide during a trial for mistreatment if the animal will be given to a charity. Up to now, it was necessary to make a second legal complaint after the condemnation of the owner to take the animals away and give them to a charity.

Finally, the ordinance also aims to protect companion animals other than dogs and cats. The trade of these animals in non-specialised markets and fairs will be prohibited as well as the “self-service” trade of these animals.

A big step forward has been probably reached with this new Law. Force private individuals to be declared to the tax authorities will probably limit the temptation to breed and sell animals, which was done until now in an unresponsible way. However, enforcement might stay complex as it is easy to use the SIREN number of somebody else. 

Limit private breeding and consequently online trade of animals is a major concern in Europe. As an example, Belgium has adopted last year stricter rules regarding private breeding of cats, making mandatory sterilization of any cat sold or given for free.

The provisions of the French ordinance will get into force on January 1 2016.



[1] It appeared that it is impossible to check how much litters private people are selling as the trade happens often privately via classified ads


[2] A small derogation is planned only for non professional breeders selling animals registered in the French Book of Origins (called LOF). These sellers will not need a SIREN number when they sell less than 1 litter a year but they will have to register each of the animals produced in the book of origin, even the ones not fitting with the breed standards



New campaign of Eurogroup for Animals: 'Protect our Pets'

9 September 2015

Eurogroup for Animals has launched a major new campaign to improve the welfare of Europe’s cats and dogs. The Protect Our Pets campaign tackles the growing, underground and illegal pet trade in Europe once and for all.

Today pets are being traded illegally within Europe. This illegal trade severely impacts upon the health and welfare of the animals involved. Many are born in inhumane circumstances, are poorly socialised, transported great distances, and all too often at great risk contracting diseases. Unsuspecting owners buy these pets, often on-line, and are regularly left heartbroken when things go wrong. This needs to stop!

The campaign uses multi-media tools and social network channels to spread the message and the Protect Our Pets campaign urges members of the public to call for pets across Europe to be properly identified and registered, and therefore linked to an owner.  A dedicated website has also been set up www.protectourpets.eu to facilitate members of the public contacting their MEPs and calling for action now>

“We want to make the invisible, visible. We want to close the loopholes that allow this trade to flourish, and to ensure that dogs, cats and other pets are protected, both from the trade itself, and from the serious disease and behavioural risks that threaten the health and welfare of all animals and owners alike,” stated Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.

To achieve this Eurogroup for Animals is working actively with the European parliament and in particular Renate Sommer MEP who pushed forward an initiative for a Motion for a Resolution asking the European Commission to mandate the introduction of harmonised national systems for the identification and registration of pets in each Member State, based on the system which has been adopted for equines.

The campaign also calls on members of the public to urge their elected MEPs to write to Commissioner Andriukaitis, the Commissioner in charge of Animal welfare calling for the harmonisation of identification and registration requirements for pets across the EU.

"It is increasingly clear that as long as we have a patchwork of systems for pet identification and registration, the illegal trade in pets will flourish in Europe. We need effective ways to trace ownership cross border, and this requires harmonisation of identification and registration requirements at national level,” stated Renate Sommer MEP.

"It is time for pets – dogs, cats, and exotic pets too – to be recognised as legitimate animal and public health concerns. The European Commission has a clear role to play in the prevention and management of veterinary public health issues. That's why I am determined to see that the European Parliament as a whole adopts a Resolution, calling for the Commission to use its powers in this area. It's time to ensure that Europe's pets are properly protected," she concluded.


Spain: increasment of number of pets abandonned

In a recent written question, the Spanish MEP Marina Albiol Guzmán alerted the EU Commission on the increasment of pets abandonment in Spain. In 2014, at least 200 000 cats and dogs have been abandonned.

Question for written answer E-006505/2015 to the Commission Rule 130 Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL)

Subject: Dramatic number of abandoned pets in Spain

Animal protection organisations have counted many thousands of cases in Spain of pets being abandoned. They calculate that at least 200 000 were abandoned last year. Furthermore, this shocking figure represents an additional problem for the public administration authorities, which have to spend resources on rescuing these animals and rehabilitating them. In this regard a citizens’ initiative has gathered over 280 000 signatures to date calling for substantial changes to the applicable regulations.      

1.    Does the Commission propose to implement any strategy regarding the well-being of pets?             

2.    Does the Commission intend to draw up a Directive to support the fight against the ill-treatment and abandonment of pets?


Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

In the context of the EU animal welfare strategy 2012-2015 (1) the Commission commissioned a study on cats and dogs involved in commercial practices. The results are still under evaluation and will be properly considered by the Commission within the limits of its mandate.

  1.   COM(2012) 6 final

A first Animal Welfare Act for Lebanon ?

Lebanon animal welfare law one step closer to becoming a reality. The law started to be thought in 2009 and was firstly drafted in 2011, following public consultation. A final draft was presented in 2014. This week, the law was approved by the Cabinet of the Ministry of Agriculture. The next step would be the approval of the Bill by the Parliament in order to become a law.

The bill covers every species: farm animals, stray cats and dogs, wild animals, slaughter etc.

More on http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Life/Lubnan/2015/Feb-06/286672-lebanon-animal-welfare-law-one-step-closer-to-becoming-a-reality.ashx


Relaunch of the CAROdog and CAROcat websites

Leading EU cat and dog welfare websites launch new design and content

In the EU Member States, many dogs and cats still suffer because of the unsolved and increasing problem of uncontrolled births, which can result in abandonment or severely inadequate living conditions. In addition, cases of mistreatment are widespread, sometimes in organised forms such as dog fighting and puppy mills. As a result, millions of dogs and cats in Europe experience great suffering. Overpopulation has sometimes generated social problems, including those of health and safety.

With the aim of responding to such problems, the CAROdog project (www.carodog.eu) was launched in 2010, and CAROcat (www.carocat.eu) followed in February 2013.

The aim of the CAROdog and CAROcat websites is to offer sustainable solutions to help dogs and cats in the EU through the dissemination of reliable and science-based information related to legislative, legal, social and scientific activities for the protection of companion animals in Europe. These websites propose a systematic approach to canine and feline population management to avoid the killing of healthy animals, starting from responsible ownership as the basis of individual and community commitment to dog and cat welfare.

Today in Brussels, a new phase of this work has been presented.

Within the framework of these projects, conferences on dog and cat welfare have already been held in several EU countries. A EU canine and feline traceability working group has been established, addressing the important issue of identification and registration of companion animals.

The initiators of the CAROdog and CAROcat projects are the international animal welfare organisation VIER PFOTEN – founded and based in Austria, with national offices in seven European Member States and with a European Policy Office in Brussels, Belgium – and the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise, Teramo, Italy – the OIE Collaborating Centre for veterinary training, epidemiology, food safety and animal welfare. The European Commission and the European Federation of Veterinarians (FVE) are supporting the websites with their expertise and have placed their representatives on the editorial boards. For the CAROcat website, the Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD) is an additional partner. Together we are creating a reliable knowledge-based system.

The most evident sign of this new phase of the CAROdog and CAROcat projects is the new architecture and content of the websites, now including a dedicated space for dog and cat owners. The websites are also now more user friendly.

Marlene Wartenberg, Director of VIER PFOTEN’s European Policy Office, said: “The work of the last few years has been very rewarding, both in terms of attention received by the websites in Europe and beyond, and because CAROdog and CAROcat have become an authoritative presence for the protection of companion animals in the European Union. More protection for companion animals is needed in Europe, especially as there are tendencies at the moment to declare stray animals as second-class dogs and cats, with less protection”.

The new CAROdog and CAROcat websites contain information about responsible dog and cat ownership and population management; scientific, legal and practical information; solution strategies; a library; tools, projects and programmes; news and events; and a regularly updated special focus section. The available information is all designed to provide the most transparent and direct access for users.


We hope that old and new visitors to our websites will find the new versions even more interesting and inspiring.


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