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Parliamentary questions
20 May 2011
E-003343/2011
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

The issue of illegal trade in pet animals and their protection have already been addressed by the Commission in its replies to previous Written Questions E‑004525/2008 by Ms Muscardini, E‑003787/2009 by the Honourable Member, E‑006868/2010 by Mr Chountis and E‑002270/2011 by Mr Berlato(1).

The control and enforcement of EU animal health legislation in relation to trade in dogs and cats are the primary responsibility of the Member States. Therefore, public awareness campaigns regarding the purchase of those animals are part of Member States' responsibility.

Some non-governmental organisations complained to the Commission about the lack of enforcement of certain EU provisions concerning trade in dogs. The Commission is now assessing which actions could be taken to ensure better enforcement. However, the Commission can intervene on the Member States' competent authorities only if they have failed to implement Union rules, and not on other matters that fall under Member States' responsibility such as the conditions for breeding or selling dogs in shops.

State-recognised organisations or associations are not subsidised by the EU.

Council Directive 91/174/EEC of 25 March 1991 laying down zootechnical and pedigree requirements for the marketing of pure-bred animals(2) applies to pure-bred animals, such as dogs. Pending the implementation of detailed criteria for the approval and recognition of breeders' organisations or associations, national laws remain applicable as regards the criteria for entry or registration in pedigree records or registers, the criteria of approval for reproduction of pure-bred animals and for the use of their semen, ova and embryos, and the certificate required for their marketing.

Finally, the Commission is considering, as requested by the Council conclusions on welfare of dogs and cats(3) on 29 November 2010 (calling upon the Commission to investigate if differences exist between Member States regarding the trade in dogs and cats as well as the systems of identification and registration of these animals), to include a study on the welfare of dogs and cats in the future EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals.

(1)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/QP-WEB
(2)OJ L 85, 5.4.1991.
(3)http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/agricult/118076.pdf

Last updated: 27 June 2011Legal notice