Today, FVE applauds the European Commission on the release of two essential milestone proposals aimed at improving the welfare of animals within the EU and beyond a proposal to revise the EU animal welfare rules for transport and the first-ever EU rules on the welfare and traceability of dogs and cats.

Transport: The first proposal is for a new regulation on the protection of animals during transport. The proposal intends to repeal the previous regulation from almost two decades ago and introduce new rules that consider scientific expertise through EFSA recommendations, particularly on limiting journey time, increasing space allowances, and establishing critical temperature limits during transport as well as setting stringent rules for the export of live animals to third countries. Moreover, rules for the transport of cats and dogs are strengthened by setting minimum age, mandatory veterinary preventive care, and transport conditions.

Siegfried Moder, FVE President says: “It is fantastic news for animals that finally the EU transport welfare rules after 2 decades will be updated according to scientific expertise, including limiting journey times, especially for slaughter animals. FVE welcomes very much that the majority of the 10 points the veterinary profession proposed to improve the EU transport rules were considered in this proposal.”

Cats and dogs: The EU, for the first time ever, released a proposal for the welfare of dogs and cats. Almost half of EU households have companion animals, and the majority of these are dogs and cats. The rules will establish, for the first time, uniform EU standards for dogs and cats in breeding establishments and pet shops, as well as in shelters. The new laws will also reinforce the traceability of dogs and cats through mandatory identification and registration and will regulate online marketing to address illegal trade. Mutilations will be banned throughout the EU and imported animals will need to meet the same standards.

Nancy De Briyne, Executive Director of FVE says: “Today is a historic day! The veterinary profession has long been working towards and calling for EU rules to protect the welfare of dogs and cats, including mandatory identification and registration. Today, the EU has delivered on our request and finally, we will get more protection for dogs and cats, many of which are seen as family members.”

FVE will further analyse the proposals in detail and follow these proposals going through the legislative decision-making process. The veterinary profession remains strongly committed to improving the welfare of animals and the further revision of the EU animal welfare legislation!

EU legislative proposal on the protection of animals during transport

EU legislative proposal on the welfare of dogs and cats