The legislative proposal aims to address the pressing need for standardized regulations across Member States, particularly concerning the breeding, trading, and keeping of companion animals.

In recent years, there has been a notable surge in the demand for dogs and cats, exacerbated by the pandemic. However, this increase in ownership and trade has highlighted significant gaps in animal welfare standards within the EU. Variances in regulations among Member States have led to a proliferation of illegal trade practices, posing serious welfare concerns for these companion animals. Therefore, FVE and FECAVA very much welcome the EU Proposal to improve the welfare of dogs and cats.

Key Points of Support:
FVE and FECAVA commend the EU proposal for its comprehensive approach to enhancing animal welfare standards. Specifically, they support:

• Mandatory Identification and Registration: Ensuring that all dogs and cats are identifiable and traceable is crucial for effective monitoring and combating illegal trade.
• Harmonised Standards: Establishing minimum animal welfare standards and harmonized rules for breeding and market placement will help improve the welfare of companion animals.
• Online Trade Regulation: Introducing measures to regulate online trade of companion animals, including requirements for sellers to provide identification and registration information.
• Preventive Veterinary Care: Emphasizing the importance of preventive healthcare measures, including regular veterinary visits and record-keeping, to ensure the well-being of animals in commercial establishments.

Areas for Improvement:

While expressing overall support for the proposed Regulation, FVE and FECAVA also identify several areas for improvement, including:
• Scope: Recommending modifications to ensure that all dogs and cats, regardless of breeding establishment size, receive adequate welfare protection.
• Identification & Registration: Advocating for mandatory identification and registration for all cats and dogs, not just those traded for economic purposes.
• Ban on Pet Shop Sales: Calling for a ban on the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops due to concerns about animal welfare and socialization.
• Mutilations: Urging for an extension of the ban on mutilations to cover all operators and all types of mutilations, with exceptions only for justifiable medical reasons.
• Shelters: no reproduction of animals and euthanasia should only be decided on the recommendation of and performed by a veterinarian.

You can find our full analysis Feedback dog and cat EU welfare proposal

In summary, FVE and FECAVA welcome the EU’s efforts to improve the welfare of dogs and cats and address the challenges posed by the companion animal trade. By advocating for enhancements to the proposed Regulation and supporting measures to safeguard the well-being of companion animals, FVE and FECAVA aim to contribute to a more humane and responsible approach to companion animal welfare across the European Union.