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Debate in the EU Parliament on identification and registration of companion animals


VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS welcomes the debate and in particular Commission’s announcement to start preparatory work on identification and registration (I&R) of pets in Europe.

During last week’s Plenary Session in Strasbourg the introduction of compatible systems for the I&R of pet animals across Member States was debated. All the speakers underlined the lack of traceability of dogs and cats in the EU, resulting in both animal suffering and spreading animal diseases and zoonosis across Europe. It was pinpointed that this escalating problem is one of the most lucrative revenue for the mafia, who makes a profit of “producing” puppies massively and selling them mostly to Western Europe markets. Speakers suggested that details concerning animals’ origins, diseases and vaccinations should be harmonised and provided not only on a national, but foremost on a European level.


The big discussion concerned maintain the common EU database of  the I&R system of dogs and cats. While most MEPs were in favour of a common EU database, few MEPs expressed their concerns about the EU capacity of maintaining such a common database, about bureaucracy, mentioning that Member States already have existing I&R systems and that this question would be better solved at national level. The defenders of an EU I&R system answered that pets are travelling across Europe and that they might carry diseases.


Commissioner Corina Crețu pinpointed that “the EU Commission intends to start the preparatory work, including expert consultations for the adoption of possible delegated actswhen the proposed Regulation on Transmissible Animal Diseases is formally adopted by the co-legislators, most probably in the coming weeks.” The debate whether this will take form of an EU wide system or of an harmonised system is still ongoing.


Finally, Parliamentarians agreed with MEP Renate Sommer, who will present this month a motion for a resolution on I&R, that “We need to bring legislation together” and introduce a system for the I&R of dogs and cats in Europe. Some speakers proposed to give a floor to NGO's ideas and knowledge in order to support the EU Commission with implementing a compatible I&R system of dogs and cats in the EU.


Since 2010, VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS is calling 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. In particular, VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS, has established the CAROdog ( and CAROcat ( projects, as well as an EU Canine and Feline Traceability Experts Group in order to demonstrate the feasibility and necessity of a EU-wide identification and registration system in the frame of EU competences and stakeholders’ interests.


The results of the Expert Group are available here: