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Parliamentary questions
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9 March 2011
Question for written answer E-002270/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sergio Berlato (PPE)

 Subject: Illegal trafficking in pet animals from Eastern Europe
 Answer in writing 

As part of an operation to combat trafficking in dogs illegally imported from Hungary, the Pistoia and Prato provincial offices of the Italian National Forestry Commission seized 27 pedigree puppies (Pugs, Akitas, Shar-Peis, Labradors, etc.), 175 documents providing evidence of the sale of the animals, 130 Hungarian passports and various health documents, veterinary medicines and syringes for the insertion of microchips.

The investigation was triggered off by a number of complaints lodged in 2010 by individuals who had been the victims of fraud. The inspections showed that the puppies, most of which had been sold through Internet adverts, did not come from the stated breeding centre, which did not even exist and had therefore not received the slightest authorisation from health or planning authorities.

By Law No 201/2010, the Italian Parliament ratified a Council of Europe Convention on animal protection. The relevant provisions, which entered into force on 4 December 2010, introduced into Italian law the new offence of ‘illegal trafficking in pet animals’ (Article 4, Law 201/2010), which carries with it a sentence (three months’ to one year’s imprisonment) for anyone who introduces, transports, hands over or receives into Italy any pet animals without individual identification system (microchip) and the necessary health certificates.

Given the above, will the Commission state whether, following this further instance of illegal trafficking in pet animals, it agrees that an awareness-raising campaign should be launched in the Member States to advise anyone wishing to buy a pet animal to beware of unauthorised operators or dealers?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 294 E, 06/10/2011
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