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.



24.05.2017 – Minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits – Follow up to the European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2017

During 2017 information gathered on health and welfare of farmed domestic rabbits will be published in 2018 in an overview report in 2018. The report aims at understanding the rabbit production sector, identify good practices relating to the health, welfare and housing of rabbits reared for meat production. Further information is available here.


23.03.2017 The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament reviews the new study “Animal Welfare in the European Union” by Professor Donald M. Broom

Brussels, Thursday 23 March 2017 – In response to a growing number of petitions received, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament reviewed a new study by Professor Donald M. Broom, department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, entitled “Animal Welfare in the European Union” and discussed possible violations of applicable EU law.

The study reveals that 35% of EU animals are unprotected. The Eurobarometer indicates that there is an increase of animal welfare concern and demands, leading to new welfare-friendly markets within and outside the EU.

A vast majority of EU citizens believe that both enforcement of existing animal protection legislation and the development of new Animal Welfare policy and legislation are needed, as there are still species that are not protected by law. This has an impact on the EU’s reputation an image on the rest of the world.

The study also emphasises on the serious animal welfare problems that are not covered by law in the EU. The report recommends the elaboration of a general animal welfare law or species specific legislation and the mention of animal sentience & welfare.

The animal user industries, animal protection groups and policymakers share the view that animal welfare legislation and policy should be based on science, on research on animal welfare and on the exchange of information.

Access to the report is available at here


14.03.2017 European parliament adopts Resolution to improve equine welfare

The International animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS congratulates Julie GIRLING, MEP, on today’s adoption of the Resolution by the European Parliament, in favour of the Initiative report on responsible ownership and care of equines aiming at enforcing legislative measures to ensure equine husbandry and welfare throughout Europe. The report includes the recommendations laid out in the study published by World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals, ‘Removing the Blinkers: the health and welfare of European Equidae in 2015’, which outlined the scope, scale and welfare challenges of the equine sector in Europe.

Access to the full Press release is available here


European Parliament Motion for a resolution on animal transport

On August 9 the European Parliament has published a motion for a resolution on animal transport . 

The European Parliament, The European Parliament The European Parliament

–  having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport acts to protect animals in transit in all the Member States in order to prevent them suffering unnecessarily;

B.  whereas Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that the Union and the Member States are to pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals as sentient beings when formulating and implementing policies;

C.  whereas the European Court of Justice has ruled in Case C-424/13 that the Regulation has to be complied with in non-EU countries too if the animals concerned started their journey in an EU Member State;

D.  whereas investigations conducted over five years into animal transport conditions at the Turkish border in Kapikule have revealed animals forced to travel in extremely high temperatures, without any food or water, without sufficient headroom, some injured, all crammed together in their own excrement and with no possibility of receiving any care;

E.  whereas Italian exports to Turkey quadrupled between 2014 and 2015;

1.  Calls on the Commission to draw up measures that put protection of animal welfare before the commercial interests of the states involved in animal transport operations.