Better welfare for dogs and cats in EU

Nearly half of EU households own a cat or a dog and EU citizens ranked high the importance of their well being. A lot of effort was done by veterinary professionals including FECAVA Vice president Ann Criel and FECAVA Animal Behavior and Welfare working group to push the proposal for enhanced regulations on pet welfare forward.

Across EU countries, animal welfare standards for professional breeding, keeping, and selling dogs and cats vary widely – resulting in sub-standard practices and sometimes, even abuse. Illegal online trade of pets is also on the rise, accounting for 60% of all EU sales.

On the 7th December 2023 EU Commission proposed the first time ever, new EU rules on the welfare and traceability of dogs and cats, which are bred, kept and traded, as companion animals, for economic purposes.

Minimum standards will apply to the breeding, housing, care and treatment of these animals across the EU.

Strict traceability requirements, together with automated checks for online sales, will help authorities control the breeding and trade of dogs and cats and buyers to check that their identification and registration is correct.

Member States will need to offer training to animal handlers and anyone buying a dog or cat will be informed about the importanceof responsible ownership.

Imports of dogs and cats will have to meet equivalent welfare standards.

Learn more about our animal welfare rules ON THE LINK.


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