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 the spreading of animal diseases and zoonosis across Europe. It was pointed out that this escalating problem is one of the most lucrative revenues for the mafia, which makes a profit by 'producing' puppies massively and selling them mostly to Western Europe markets. The speakers suggested that details concerning the origins, diseases and vaccination of animals should be harmonised and provided not only on a national, but foremost on a European level.
The main discussion concerned the maintenance of a common EU database for the I&R system for dogs and cats. While most MEPs were in favour of a common EU database, a few MEPs expressed their concerns about the EU’s capacity to maintain such a common database, and about bureaucracy, mentioning that Member States already had existing I&R systems and that this question would be better solved at national level. The proponents of an EU I&R system answered that pets are travelling across Europe and might carry diseases.
"The EU Commission intends to start the preparatory work, including expert consultations for the adoption of possible delegated acts when the proposed Regulation on Transmissible Animal Diseases is formally adopted by the co-legislators, most probably in the coming weeks."
Corina Crețu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy
The debate on whether this will take the form of an EU-wide system or of a harmonised system is still ongoing.
Finally, Parliamentarians agreed with MEP Renate Sommer, who this month will present 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 space to the ideas and knowledge of NGOs in order to support the EU Commission with implementing a compatible I&R system for dogs and cats in the EU.
Since 2010, VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS has been calling for the 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 (www.carodog.eu) and CAROcat (www.carocat.eu) projects, as well as an EU Canine and Feline Traceability Experts Group in order to demonstrate the feasibility and necessity of an EU-wide identification and registration system in the frame of EU competences and stakeholders’ interests.
The results of the Expert Group are available here:
FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orang-utans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly. www.four-paws.org