Yesterday, the EU Commission’s funded study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices was published in parallel to the Eurobarometer on animal welfare 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 consumer deception. Economic factors were mentioned as well as 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 breeding, transport and the lack of knowledge and information about the keeping of pets, discrepancies in the market data of pets and the protection of 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 the 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 the 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 the mouth: the problems are known and solutions are available for a 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 the internet. It is also very regrettable that stray animals have been excluded from the results of the study as they are victims of the present commercial practices involving cats and dogs."
Pierre Sultana, Director of the VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS European Policy Office of
Read about the outcomes of the first EU survey on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices here: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/docs/aw_eu-strategy_study_dogs-cats-commercial-practices.pdf
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org