Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
With respect to the registration of and illegal trade in pet animals the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its replies to the previous Written Questions E‐004525/2008, E‐003787/2009, E‐006868/2010, E-8449/2010, E‐002270/2011, E‐003343/2011, E‐006602/2011, E‐006808/2011, E-002142/2012, E-004247/2012, E-004656/2012 and E-007168/2012(1).
During the debate held at Council and European Parliament on the revision of the Pet Regulation the Commission has committed itself to perform, within the framework of the EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals 2012-2015(2), a study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices. If the outcome of that study indicates health risks arising from those commercial practices, the Commission will consider appropriate options for the protection of human and animal health, including proposing to the European Parliament and to the Council appropriate adaptations to current Union legislation on trade in dogs and cats, including the introduction of compatible systems for their registration accessible across Member States. In view of the above, the Commission will assess the feasibility and appropriateness of an extension of such registration systems to dogs and cats marked and identified in accordance with Union legislation on non-commercial movements of pet animals.
Since improving the welfare of animals is not in itself an objective of the EU treaties(3), any extension of EU rules in this domain should fall within one of the policy areas where the EU has competences. It should furthermore be duly justified in the light of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.