Identification and registration (I&R) are inseparable components of dog and cat traceability. Traceability, veterinary care and the education of all stakeholders constitute the core of responsible ownership and protection from zoonotic disease.
The EU Pet Passport Regulation has established mandatory electronic identification for all cats, dogs and ferrets moving into and within the EU. The passport and pet microchip enable verification of the vaccination status and health history of an animal. However, the regulation does not include compulsory registration, leaving this responsibility in the hands of the member states. For this reason, full EU traceability cannot yet be implemented. Although mandatory I&R for dogs is already in place in most EU countries, cats are largely not covered. Besides reuniting lost pets with their owners and preventing abandonment, I&R is the only reliable way of tracing disease and controlling health hazards, ensuring consumer protection, tackling tax evasion and curbing illegal trade.
The FOUR PAWS European Policy Office advocates the mandatory, EU-wide identification (through injectable transponders) and registration (in compatible, harmonised databases) of all cats and dogs. To this end, EPO and its partners in the CARO project (carodog.eu and carocat.eu) have launched an expert group on canine and feline traceability representing members from all along the traceability chain (FOUR PAWS, IZSAM, FVE, EC, TASSO, Datamars, Planet ID, Europetnet, Belgian Health Ministry). Underlining the value and central role of traceability, the expert group calls for the establishment of a mandatory EU-wide I&R system and has drawn up recommendations for policymakers.
- Check with your vet and make sure that your pet is identified and correctly registered in a database.
- Make sure that your animal is registered in a database that is part of Europetnet.
- If faced with the choice between the EU Pet Passport and another type of ID, select the EU Pet Passport.
- Control your pet’s microchip number at: www.dvc.services.
- Visit the CAROdog and CAROcat websites to better understand identification and registration and why they are important for you and your pet.