European Commission’s report on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices published


Brussels, 16 March 2016

VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS is glad that CAROdog and CAROcat projects have been mentioned as best examples

Yesterday, EU Commission’s funded study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices has been published in parallel to the Eurobarometer on animal welfare[1] and the EDUCAWEL Study on education and information activities on animal welfare. This EU survey was ordered by the European Commission on a special request made by the Council of the European Union in 2010. The study collected data from 12 representative Member States, in which 85% of the estimated total dog and 87% of the estimated cat population in the EU are located.

The study covers both animal related concerns such as their health and welfare status as well as human ones, with the risks of pet transmitted diseases and of consumers’ deception. Economic factors have been mentioned as well with the existing impact on the internal market caused by unscrupulous actors. Five main areas where the situation must be improved have been identified. These areas are the breeding, the transport and the lack of knowledge and information for the keeping of pets, the discrepancies in market data of pets and the protection of the consumers. In particular, the study shows that most of the above mentioned problems could be solved by increasing traceability.

Besides the registration of breeders, the study shows that there is an outrageous difference between EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) figures and the reality of the trade in cats and dogs and that this system needs to be analysed, evaluated and improved. Last but not least, the study pointed out the huge benefits that linked, compatible, harmonised systems of identification and registration of cats and dogs would bring to Europe to solve the aforementioned problems.

“We welcome the fact that our CARODOG and CAROCAT projects have been mentioned as best practices by this new study which points out the need for more transparency concerning cats and dogs and their trade in Europe. This however leaves a bitter taste in our mouth: the problems are known and solutions are available since long time already, as the results of the CARO EU canine traceability experts group show but the situation is now worsened by the development of the online trade of animals through internet. It is also very regrettable that stray animals have been excluded of the results of the study as they are victims of the present commercial practices for cats and dogs.” Says Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office of VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS.


You can read the outcomes of the first EU survey on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices here