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Third Meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare

21.6.2018

FOUR PAWS welcomes the creation of the voluntary initiative subgroup on improving the health and welfare of pets (dogs) in trade, and of other new subgroups.

The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS is one of the members of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare launched by the EU Commission last year. Yesterday, the third meeting of the Platform took place in Brussels.

FOUR PAWS welcomes the activities of the Platform as an additional forum for stakeholders to exchange views about animal welfare.

In particular, FOUR PAWS welcomes the initiative of the Dutch government to establish a new voluntary initiative subgroup on improving the health and welfare of pets (dogs) in trade, and to tackle issues related to the trade in pets in Europe. Representatives of FOUR PAWS, other NGOs, independent experts, and Member State representatives had their first meeting on this topic on 19th June, and yesterday their plans were presented at the Platform meeting.

Yesterday’s meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare also offered the opportunity to present the activities of the subgroup established by the Commission on the transport of live animals.

Furthermore, a new subgroup on the tail docking of pigs was launched by the Commission, while various Member States announced their intention to launch own-initiative subgroups on pig castration and fish welfare, in addition to the existing one on equidae.

FOUR PAWS is confident that the new subgroup dedicated to improving the health and welfare of pets will produce concrete proposals to improve the enforcement of EU pet legislation, and identify, together with Member States, effective actions to control pet movements more efficiently.

"Already in 2016, through a report and a European conference, we highlighted the enforcement issues met in practice by the competent authorities, in particular in relation to the identification of dogs, and the Pet Passport and TRACES schemes. 
The subgroup will also be the right place to promote the enforcement of mandatory breeder registration under the upcoming Animal Health Law.
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Sophie Duthoit, FOUR PAWS Europe, EU Companion Animal Policy and Legal Coordinator. FOUR PAWS representative in the subgroup. 

FOUR PAWS also welcomes the progress made by the working group on extreme temperatures, within the subgroup on transport. “All stakeholders have shown a very constructive attitude by sharing information on existing problems and ideas to solve them,” said Adolfo Sansolini, FOUR PAWS representative in the subgroup on transport and at the Platform. “We also agreed that it would not be sufficient to prepare new factsheets for drivers and other recipients, therefore we will work on a parallel document, too, through which we will propose a communication strategy for their effective diffusion. We will also highlight parts of the existing legislation where enforcement is difficult, or that need changing altogether. It is our hope that the EU Commission will act on our suggestions in order to ensure that animal welfare during transport is improved through all necessary means.”

View web stream of the meeting: https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/3rd-meeting-of-the-platform-on-animal-welfare

Access the Minutes of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare meeting: https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/aw_platform_20180621_sum.pdf​ 

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