26.04.2017 Conference on ‘Stray Dog and Feral Cat Population in Europe: from culling to care’

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is meeting on April 26, in the European Parliament in Brussels (Room ASP3G3, from 9:00 – 13:00 hrs) to discuss ‘Stray Dog and Feral Cat Population in Europe.

Further information on the draft agenda is available here


The fight for Romanian stray dogs

MEP Stefan Eck meets with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos to fight for a more dignified treatment of stray dogs in the country.

According to Prime Minister Ciolos, the Romanian Law 258/2013 on stray dogs is comparable to the laws applied in some other countries in Europe. But he did acknowledge Romania has a problem of law transposition together with lower animal protection standards especially at local level. As a first step, he committed to ask service providers to control the public shelters and check their observance of existing laws and regulations.

Original article in here.




Success for FOUR PAWS Wild? Me? Campaign: EU recognises that homeless cats and dogs are not wild

A major step forward for strays and companion animals in Europe has been reached within the last draft of the Animal Health Law

Brussels, 02.06.2015. Since the first draft of the Animal Health Law, the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has warned of the misuse of the term “wild” when referring to stray animals and the legal consequences. Monday evening, MEP Marit Paulsen (SW, ALDE), European Parliament’s rapporteur on the Animal Health Law, now renamed “European law on Transmissible Animal Diseases”, and EU Commissioner Andriukaitis presented the outcome of the agreement between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Even if the “wild” and “kept” definition will stay, a clause has been added, stating that stray animals are not wild animals, and that the critical definition of wild animals, as given by this description, will apply only to this law.

The new regulation will replace and encompass most of the present EU legislation on animal health. It distinguishes between those animals which are kept as pets and those which are stray without an owner kept, attributing homeless cats and dogs a lower level of legal protection than “kept” ones. It was feared that this could lead to legal grounds to kill strays. Now, by inserting the additional clause a compromise solution has been found and the draft explicitly distinguishing strays from the other non-kept animals.

Moreover, the draft includes other improvements for animal welfare: The very first article of the Animal Health Law implements a safeguard clause in cases of stray population management programs, stating not only that these programs have to be performed in a humane way avoiding pain and distress for the animals, but also that they have to be proportionate with the health risk. It is also now required that these programs have to be implemented in a transparent way and have to include stakeholder consultation.

The most progressive initiative implemented by this new law is the mandatory registration of all professional breeders and sellers of animals. “We welcome this initiative which will help to reduce irresponsible breeding, and in turn reduce overpopulation and abandonment of companion animals”, says Pierre Sultana, Director of FOUR PAWS European Policy Office.

Finally, the new law redefines some terms in the transposition of the Pet Passport Regulation to try to reduce the possibilities of the illegal puppy trade under the non-commercial movement scheme.

Despite these improvements, some problems are still unresolved. FOUR PAWS has concerns regarding the proper enforcement of some unclear terms and notions of the law, such as “humane treatment” of animals. “This agreed version of the Animal Health Law does not meet all FOUR PAWS expectations, but it is already a major step forward for strays and companion animals in Europe”, says Sultana. By increasing control and redefining responsibilities, this new law may limit Member States to adopt systematic culling programs of stray animals, which often take place without transparency and prior consultation with stakeholders and NGOs.

According to the Rapporteur, the final Parliamentary vote validating this compromise text should be a simple formality and should occur in November this year.


–> Please downlad here our press release: IPR_Wild Me Update_20150602_EN

–> Please find our "questions and answers" document to help you to understand this new legislation here: AHL questions & answers

–> Please find here the 2 position papers done by the office of MEP Paulsen on the animal welfare/health achievments in the new animal health law, and the achievments regarding stray animals:

​–> Please find here the official Press release of the EU Commission and a EU Commission's Q&A:


Update: Wild? Me? Campaign: the EU Commission answered our letter

At the demand of Mr Miko, Director General of EU Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) and for reasons of transparency, VIER PFOTEN publishes Mr Miko’s answer to our letter of 3 February 2015 as well as the mentioned letter

Despite the deepest respect we have for Mr Miko, VIER PFOTEN disagrees with the interpretation that the distinction between animals which are kept by humans and animals that are not under human control is coherent. Though it is true that this definition covers all animals, there is no need to divide species in two groups, merging in both groups companion and wild animals. We believe that such merging will complicate the enforcement of this law for both veterinarians and lawyers and is not clear for European citizens. This can lead, even not intentionally, to a reduction of the welfare and protection for stray animals, for which “other rules can be applied” (the same as for wild animals such as wild boars, such as massive hunting and killing) as they are not under human control. We believe that the European Commission shall prevent that such event appears!

This is why VIER PFOTEN calls again on the honourable Members of the European Commission, Parliament and Council, in the context of the trilogue, to opt for a definition which does not define homeless cats and dogs as wild animals.

 *We will publish any further communication if the Commission desires so.


Please find here the letter we adressed to Mr Miko: Letter sent 

and here the official answer we received from Mr Miko: Letter received


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


Non-kept dogs and cats’ are NOT wild animals!

FOUR PAWS disapproves of European Commission’s plans to consider stray domestic animals as wild animals

Brussels, 05.12.2014. For the last three years, the European Commission has been drafting an Animal Health Law, which is supposed to replace and encompass most of the present EU legislation on animal health, striving for simplification and greater consistency under common principles and general rules.

Freecard Wild Me 150x100 12-14 RZ Banderole.inddInternational animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, present in 7 EU countries in addition to an office in Brussels, welcomes these intentions, and has been happy to see that in the framework of the elaboration of the draft text Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for the identification and registration of all dogs in Europe. This would be a fundamental tool to prevent not only health risks for humans and animals, but also abandonment and illegal trade in puppies; therefore to protect dogs, and finally reduce canine overpopulation.

However, in the present draft of the Animal Health Law, an opposing trend has become apparent which might now even determine the decrease of protection: the proposal tabled by the European Commission wants to consider stray domestic animals as wild animals.

Marlene Wartenberg, Director of FOUR PAWS European Policy Office in Brussels regards these developments as concrete threat to animal welfare across the EU. “If this proposal was approved it would mean that stray and free-roaming animals would be granted a lower level of protection in the EU. In some situations, this could offer legal grounds for allowing hunters to shoot at them, as it has already been proposed in the past in various countries”.

Freecard Wild Me 150x100 12-14 RZ Banderole.inddThe proposal is presently being discussed in the last stage of the legislative process conducted through the Trialogue (which includes European Council, Commission and Parliament). Lamentably, last week in the European Parliament, Commission officials confirmed their intention to keep the text as it is, despite admitting that the definition of stray animals as ‘wild’ is confusing.

This decision would ignore the fundamental biological distinction between wild and domestic animals, and be taken against the basic principle of Article 13 of the EU Treaty (TFEU) that considers animals to be sentient beings, and requires new EU legislation to take their needs into account. Also, it would deliberately ignore the constant requests of EU citizens to increase the level of protection granted to all animals, not to decrease it.

This is happening without publicity, in the attempt to get this unacceptable definition passed without attracting criticism. FOUR PAWS has thus decided to give voice to EU citizens (and their animals) by organising an international protest that starts with a postcard campaign addressed to the EU Institutions and that EU citizens can share.

Freecard Wild Me 150x100 12-14 RZ Banderole.indd‘We are asking our representatives in Europe and the Commission to withdraw this unacceptable proposal, and focus on improving animal health and welfare instead’ – say Wartenberg,. ‘We have been working for responsible ownership of companion animals since 2010 through projects like CAROdog and – since 2013 – CAROcat. As this proposal can seriously undermine our work, we will now offer EU citizens the chance to tell directly to the European Commission what they expect them to do.

We hope that common sense will prevail over the fanciful idea of some officials.’.

Campaign materials are already available in various EU countries, and further actions will be announced soon.


Share the postcards

Please find here below the digital version of the postcards. Do not hesitate to send them to your responsible ministries (Health or Agriculture) and to the EU Institutions.

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB1 

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB2

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB3

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB4

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB5

Freecard Wild Me 150×100 12-14 RZ WEB6


EU Parliament voted a resolution on dealing with the problem of stray dogs






On 27 January 2014, the MEP Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris has recorded a "motion for a resolution" to be submitted to the vote of the plenary. This resolution has been voted on 18th March 2014. A resolution is an official call from the EU Parliament to another EU Institution to do something on a topic.

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Rule 120 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, despite an increase in the number of adoptions from animal shelters, the problem of stray animals is still far from solved in the EU;

B. whereas the control methods used to date – most of which involve capture and sterilisation – have failed to stem the problem;

C. whereas some Member States have employed drastic measures, including euthanasia;

D. whereas Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union requires the EU and Member States to ‘pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals’, since they are sentient beings; whereas EU animal welfare legislation covers a range of issues including breeding, slaughter and scientific research, but still contains no provisions on stray animals;

E. whereas, according to recent estimates, there are more than 100 million pets in the EU;

1. Calls on the Commission to draw up general guidelines on dealing with the problem of stray animals in accordance with general animal welfare principles;

2. Calls on the Member States to use part of their structural funding to address the problem of stray animals, focusing first and foremost on the areas in which the problem is most acute.


Press Conference in the EU Parliament on Stray Dog situation in Romania

Yesterday, the Members of the European Parliament, Andrea Zanoni and Janusz Wojciechowski, held a press conference in the European Parliament to discuss the result of their delegation visit to Romania, following the adoption of the new law on dog population management.

Continue reading Press Conference in the EU Parliament on Stray Dog situation in Romania