10.07.2018 – Protecting the EU’s internal market and consumer rights against the negative implications of the illegal trade in companion animals

Czech Republic, Redhošt | 2013 09 15 | Illegal puppy traders are investigated at a market by a tv-journalist from the German broadcaster NDR together with FOUR PAWS.

Today, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has voted in favor of the adoption of a Motion for a Resolution on “Protecting the EU’s internal market and consumer rights against the negative implications of the illegal trade in companion animals”

FOUR PAWS welcomes this vote, which would result in an official request from the EU Parliament to the EU Commission to tackle the illegal trade of pets issues, if it is confirmed in September during the plenary vote. Specifically, the resolution highlights the need to have mandatory identification and registration of dogs and cats, breeder and seller traceability, as well as an EU Action Plan to address the illegal trade in companion animals. It also implies better enforcement of EU legislation and better communication between competent authorities of different Member States on illegal trade issues.

In particular, FOUR PAWS warmly welcomes the positive vote of the Committee on MEP Pietikanen amendments, which are referring directly to FOUR PAWS Reports of 2013 and 2016 regarding illegal puppy trade in Europe, companion animals’ identification and concrete issues with the Pet Passport and TRACES schemes. Moreover, this Motion for a Resolution refers to FOUR PAWS ThanksEbay Campaign (www.thanksebay.com) regarding the promotion of voluntary stricter rules, to verify the identity of online sellers and to improve the welfare of animals that are sold, that some classified ads websites are starting to adopt.

FOUR PAWS is delighted that its work has been relayed at such an official level, and that the ENVI Committee acknowledges once again the importance to fight illegal trade in companion animals. FOUR PAWS invites the EU Parliament to support the ENVI Committee for its vote in plenary, expected in September.



Commission calls on GREECE to tackle the illegal poisoning of birds

The European Commission is requesting Greece to establish a general system of protection for wild birds, prohibiting, in particular, their deliberate killing through poison baits. The use of poison baits is widespread in Greece, and no serious action has been taken so far, contrary to what is required under the Birds (Directive 2009/147/EC) and Habitats (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) Directives. In the Natura 2000 site of Nestos river, for example, the use of this illegal practice in 2012 led to the destruction of an entire vulture species colony, but the Greek authorities have so far done little to prevent such incidents from happening again. The Commission opened an infringement procedure against Greece in September 2013, urging the Greek authorities to better control this phenomenon in the entire country and to adopt the necessary measures to restore the damages that have occurred in Nestos in 2012. As the measures to ensure full compliance with EU law have not yet been taken, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If the Greek authorities fail to act within two months, the case may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU.


MEP calls for action to tackle illegal wildlife trade

East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin has today, on World Rhino Day, spoken of the need to tackle illegal wild life at all stages of the supply chain, starting with the preservation on the ground in Africa.

The 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, starting this weekend. Every three years CITES meets to review and strengthen the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

As part of her work on the International Trade Committee and her long campaign to crack down on Illegal Wildlife, Miss McClarkin will meet with a range of experts from government, international organisations, and non-profits to compile her report on illegal wildlife trade and her recommendations for tackling it, due for debate in December.

In recent times, the Illegal Trade in Wildlife has witnessed a surge, and has been increasing in value. Miss McClarkin is committed to ensure that illegal wildlife trafficking remains a permanent topic on the EU trade agenda and that appropriate mechanisms and procedures are developed and put in place to combat this crime. 

Anti-corruption measures, good governance and support for trade facilitation will be three of the key points on the agenda, areas that Miss McClarkin has previously identified as crucial in tackling this illegal activity.

She said:

"It is vital that the international community works together to stop illegal wildlife trade, which generates an illicit economy of billions of dollars each year, and threatens the sustainability of not only our ecosystem but also the stability of many developing countries.

"The present policies should be reinforced and appropriate enforcement measures developed to guarantee that that this crime is stemmed and that CITEs is making concrete steps.

"This should be done within the framework of existing agreements and with resources already available to international organisations."

Recent statistics reveal that over the past ten years rhino poaching increased by 7000% just in South Africa alone, while illicit ivory trade in general has doubled since 2007. In light of these figures, Miss McClarkin welcomes the new improved efforts by the British government to crack down illegal ivory trade, as reported in The Times this week.


Kassel (germany) Federal meeting of the Animal Welfare Officers and Ombudspersons for Animal Welfare

Translation of the Press Release of the Animal Welfare Officer of the German State Hesse

10 March 2016

Federal meeting of the Animal Welfare Officers and Ombudspersons for Animal Welfare in Kassel

System of “independent voices” for animal welfare leads the way

Continue reading Kassel (germany) Federal meeting of the Animal Welfare Officers and Ombudspersons for Animal Welfare


The EU Commission published Action Plan 2016-2020 on Wildlife Trafficking

The Action Plan 2016-2020 against Wildlife Trafficking has been published by the EU Commission on Friday 26 February 2016It is the result of joint work of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, with some support from the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The Action Plan is a response to the growing European problem regarding Wildlife Trafficking, which requires taking actions immediately in order to combat the illicit wildlife trade.

Continue reading The EU Commission published Action Plan 2016-2020 on Wildlife Trafficking


Czech Republic: A legislative change to limit illegal puppy trade ?

In Czech Republic, one of the main country producing puppies for the European illegal market, things are starting to change for the animals. Already in 2013, a conference was held in the Senate of Prague, in order to raise awareness on animal condition, and in particular breeding bitches. Since, an Expert group has been established to revise Czech legislation to make illegal puppy trade more difficul for smugglers. A bill might be pucblished before the end of the year.

More on : http://echo24.cz/a/wPLan/zubozeni-psi-ve-vlastnich-vykalech-proc-cesi-chteji-usetrit and http://www.lidovky.cz/stenata-se-pasuji-jako-kabelky-v-prepravkach-jich-umiraji-tisice-p88-/zpravy-domov.aspx?c=A150908_155021_ln_domov_ELE


UK: the ministry of agriculture published a 5 year progress report on animal welfare

This report summarises how the UK has contributed to improvements in EU and global animal welfare standards in the last five years.

It covers the illegal wildlife trade; farm animal welfare; the treatment of animals in laboratories; and appropriate links to International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

The report was commissioned by the Inter-Ministerial Group on International Animal Welfare.

The Report: animal-welfare-5-year-progress-report

Please find more on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-animal-welfare-5-year-progress-report


Turkey: revision of the Animal Protection Law

In Turkey, the Animal Welfare Law is in process to be revised. Several animal welfare friendly good amendments were introduced but they have not all passed.

In particular, an amendment was planning a prohibition of the use of animals for entertainment (such as Circus or Delphinarium). Unfortunately this amendment failed because the opposition was too strong. 

But an amendment on companion animals passed: If the amendment is voted, it will be illegal to confiscate pets due to the debts of the owners. Moreover, it will be therefore prohibited to kill ownerless dogs (abandonned or not owned).

More information on http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ban-on-dolphin-parks-and-circuses-removed-from-animal-protection-bill.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67725&NewsCatID=339


Vienna (AT): Puppy traders get prison sentence for animal abuse for first time

Vienna, 6th March 2014.  Today the regional court of Vienna for criminal affairs decided against an Austrian couple who illegally traded in puppies. FOUR PAWS regards this as a real “milestone” in the history of animal welfare. “We are very enthusiastic that the court not only took the trade fraud into consideration, but also the abuse of the animals”, says Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. Both defendants were convicted to two years of confinement, thereof eight months without probation. The sentence is not valid, the defending lawyer asked for three days time of consideration. The trial had been adjourned before several times.

Based on an information given by FOUR PAWS the police could convict the puppy traders at the end of 2012. The couple had sold puppies from Slovakia that were far too young with faked vaccination certificates: All of the animals were severely ill, some of them even died.

Paun: „The court realised that this is not only a matter of consumer fraud. The convicted set up a dirty business at the expense of the animals. Not only the puppies are suffering, but also the mother animals, who are abused their entire lives as puppy machines. Illegal puppy trade is no trivial offence. In this respect this is a victory for justness and a great day for animal welfare.”

An aggravating factor for the court was the fact that the defendant has again traded with puppies during the still pending case.  Two witnesses stated, that they had responded to an internet ad placed by the defendant in January 2014, where he had offered  Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies. When meeting the defendant he had  a dog in his car that made, according to the witness,  a “dull and faint impression”.  The witness consequently pressed charges at the veterinary authority of the City of Vienna.

For FOUR PAWS, this verdict is very important because of its signal effect. “If this business is getting too risky, because the traders don’t get away  with small fines but have to face prison sentences, the puppy mafia will eventually lose ground”, says Paun.

A similar case took place in Luxembourg last year, but in the end the illegal puppy trader was only accused of illegal trade in court, the animal abuse was not addressed. For years the defendant smuggled puppies, which were ill and far too young, from the Czech Republic to Luxembourg and sold them with false documents. He didn’t attend the hearing in November 2013, the trial was postponed.

FOUR PAWS is conducting an international campaign against the illegal puppy trade and campaigns for a responsible ownership of cats and dogs with projects like CAROdog /CAROcat  (Companion Animal Responsible Ownership).

www.stoppuppytraders.org http://www.carodog.eu