My question is prompted by Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty and by the Written Declaration on dog population management adopted on 13 October 2011.
Commercial movements of puppies and kittens in the EU are regulated by directives and regulations — most of them primarily intended to cover animals reared for food — which have proved ineffective in controlling the illegal trade and establishing traceability for puppies and kittens(1).
The consequence is that every year an estimated 700 000 puppies are illegally bred and traded among Member States and an estimated 150 000 die in the process. There are also associated risks of mistreatment, spread of disease, unfair competition and misleading of consumers.
Since transportation takes place within the Schengen area, suspicions of ill-treatment can be substantiated only where it is possible to trace the origin and successive holders of the animals concerned.
An alternative system exists which is likely to provide effective traceability of origin and of successive holders so as to dissuade illegal traders. It is based on identification of puppies and kittens and on registration with a local database linked to a central information system. It now serves as a Europe-wide ‘lost and found’ system. It could be extended to cover all movements of dogs and cats. Since movements of puppies and kittens now require identification and a passport for every animal, which most breeders comply with, traceability would only need identifications made in the breeding country to be registered on a database linked to the central European information system.
Would the Commission consider amending the existing legislation accordingly?