Simple as it may seem, the legal protection of companion animals is in fact a rather complex issue, with severe social, financial and health consequences. From compromised welfare to active abuse - the scale is non-exhaustive: inadequate living conditions and nutrition, uncontrolled births, poor veterinary care, mistreatment and abandonment. Exploitation of companion animals is also widespread and benefits organised crime with the illegal pet trade. All these issues are possible because, although visible, companion animals are not known. That’s why FOUR PAWS is a pioneer in companion animal welfare in the EU, working in particular on companion animal’s identification and registration.