Registration, identification and uncontrolled sales of pets

6 May 2013    

Mark Demesmaeker (Verts/ALE)


In some Member States, including Belgium, pets are required to be registered by means of a microchip. According to my information, however, it appears that this requirement is not always complied with and that many rescued pets do not have such a microchip, which can cause problems. At the same time, there is concern that uncontrolled animal sales, including sales via Facebook, are becoming a growing problem.

Is the Commission aware that there are differences between national provisions relating to the registration of pets?

Is the Commission aware that uncontrolled animal sales are taking place, including via Facebook?

Can the Commission say what steps it plans to take, if indeed it plans to take any, in order to introduce EU-wide registration and identification and in order to prevent uncontrolled sales?

In particular, can the Commission also say what steps have been taken in implementation of the resolutions adopted by the European Parliament on 4 July 2012 on the European Union strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2012-2015 and on the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of pets and stray animals, which call, among other things, for the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of pets and stray animals, including rules for the identification and registration of animals?


2 July 2013    
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

With respect to the registration of and illegal trade in pet animals the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its replies to the previous Written Questions E‐004525/2008, E‐003787/2009, E‐006868/2010, E-8449/2010, E‐002270/2011, E‐003343/2011, E‐006602/2011, E‐006808/2011, E-002142/2012, E-004247/2012, E-004656/2012 and E-007168/2012(1).

During the debate held at Council and European Parliament on the revision of the Pet Regulation the Commission has committed itself to perform, within the framework of the EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2012-2015(2), a study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices. If the outcome of that study indicates health risks arising from those commercial practices, the Commission will consider appropriate options for the protection of human and animal health, including proposing to the European Parliament and to the Council appropriate adaptations to current Union legislation on trade in dogs and cats, including the introduction of compatible systems for their registration accessible across Member States. In view of the above, the Commission will assess the feasibility and appropriateness of an extension of such registration systems to dogs and cats marked and identified in accordance with Union legislation on non-commercial movements of pet animals.

Since improving the welfare of animals is not in itself an objective of the EU treaties(3), any extension of EU rules in this domain should fall within one of the policy areas where the EU has competences. It should furthermore be duly justified in the light of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

(2)    COM(2012) 6 final.
(3)    Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU requires paying full regard to the welfare requirements of animals in a context of certain EU policies such agriculture or internal market.