MEPs vote in favour for the introduction of mandatory identification and registration of dogs and cats in Europe

FOUR PAWS welcomes this important step towards greater traceability of companion animals in Europe

Today, by a clear majority, a Joint Motion for a Resolution on the introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pet animals across Member States has been voted by the EU Parliament, during its Brussels plenary session.

The motion for a resolution urges in particular the EU Commission to use the opportunity given by the Animal Health Law to introduce a delegated act on identification and registration of dogs and cats. The motion was initially introduced by MEPs Renate Sommer and Julie Girling and was debated in Strasbourg two weeks ago. During this debate, EU Commissioner Corina Crețu revealed that the EU Commission was prepared to start the preparatory work, including expert consultations for the adoption of possible delegated acts on identification and registration of companion animals if there is a need for such act. Later, the other political groups introduced similar Motions for a Resolution and all these texts were jointed on 23rd February in a Joint Resolution which was voted today, showing the need for such a delegated act. 


Since 2010, and the establishment of an EU Canine and Feline Traceability Expert Group in the frame of the CAROdog ( and CAROcat ( projects, VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS has called for a EU mandatory identification and registration of all dogs and cats in Europe through compatible databases to reach the goal of responsible ownership, in line with Art. 13 TFEU.


“We highly welcome today’s vote as a decisive step for improvements in animal welfare for companion animals in Europe, better animal health and an increased consumer protection”, says Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office of VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS. “Implementation of a compulsory Identification and Registration system of pets in the EU will also slow down the number of companion animals abandoned each year by increasing responsible ownership of dogs and cats”.


Furthermore it is noted that the illegal trade in pet animals is estimated to be the third most profitable illegal trade in the EU after narcotics and weapons. By increasing traceability, we increase the chance to tackle the sourcing of money used for illegal activities and ensure these animals do not enter black markets.






Please find here the Joint Motion:


To know more about the Plenary debate of 9th February, please read our Press release here:


Please read more on the work of the EU Canine and Feline Traceability Experts Group here: