Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission
1. The Commission does not have knowledge whether dogs are exported from EU Member States to China.
Under the existing EU animal welfare legislation, the welfare of cats and dogs is regulated only in limited circumstances, in particular during transport in connection with an economic activity within the EU. Any remaining aspects concerning the welfare of cats and dogs is subject to Member States’ national legislation. The question raised by the Honourable Member is therefore to be investigated at Member States’ level.
The Commission is planning to revise the EU legislation on animal welfare and is considering options in order to develop further requirements for the welfare of companion animals within the EU.
2. At present, the Commission cannot impose a ban on sales, of these animals, to countries which allow their slaughter and consumption. However, the Commission exerts all possible efforts to promote EU animal welfare standards and best practices internationally, also in the framework of the World Organisation for Animal Health. Furthermore as the Commission pointed out in its replies to written questions P-004562/2018 and E-005366/2018, ‘the setting of animal welfare rules in non-EU countries and their enforcement is under the competence of the respective national competent authorities. An export ban on live [animals] to non-EU countries would also need very careful examination under World Trade Organisation rules, which are binding upon the Union and its Member States’.