Dog and cat welfare in EU to be improved

Monday, 29 November, 2010
Brussles, Belgium
Today the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers of the European Union will agree to ask the European Commission to take action on the welfare of cats and dogs in Europe. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare- applauds this development.

“This is the beginning of better animal welfare standards throughout the European Union,” says Kate Atema, IFAW’s Programme Director for Companion Animals.

The Council of Agriculture and Fisheries will ask the Commission to study disparities between Member States’ standards on the breeding and trade of cats and dogs, and to prepare policy options on how to harmonize the European internal market. The Commission will also request the introduction, if “justified”, of options for compatible identification and registration systems for cats and dogs.

“Harmonized welfare standards and a compatible identification and registration system throughout the EU would be an important step towards diminishing the cruelty of puppy farms and reducing the health risks to humans and domestic pets as a result of leaky transport regulations,” said Atema.

The Council will also request the Commission to present, if “justified”, a proposal to restrict the exhibition and trade of dogs and cats that have undergone unnecessary surgery, such as ear cropping and tail docking. In addition the Commission will be asked to develop appropriate actions to promote and support education on responsible dog and cat ownership, and to support national information campaigns on the negative impact of surgical interventions that have no medical grounds.

“IFAW is pleased the European Union is taking steps towards ensuring that cats and dogs receive adequate and responsible pet guardianship,” adds Atema. “We applaud the Belgian Presidency for moving this important issue forward, and will continue to closely monitor developments.”

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Press Contact

Kate Nattrass Atema (IFAW Netherlands)
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Cora Bailey
Director, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW)
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Gail A'Brunzo, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Manager
Wildlife Rescue Manager, IFAW HQ
Jan Hannah
Northern Dogs Project Manager
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Companion Animals
Program Director, Companion Animals
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Nancy Barr, Programme Director, Education
Programme Director, Education
Rikkert Reijnen, Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters