Summary title: Petition No 0697/2020 by Elise Fleury (French), on behalf of Eurogroup for Animals, on zoonotic diseases, other risks and the regulation of trading and keeping of exotic pets in the EU
Petition number: 0697/2020
Topics: Environment - Protection and Preservation, Animal Welfare, Trade, Environment
Country: European Union
Name of association: Eurogroup for Animals
Name: Elise Fleury
The petitioner calls for the consideration of the potentially dramatic consequences of the extraction of wildlife for pet trade on people and other animals’ health, the local environment, global biodiversity and animal welfare in general. The petitioner considers existing legislation in this area as too limited in its scope. The petitioner also refers to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - Bringing nature back into our lives (20 May 2020) and retains that it does not contain a clear commitment to reduce wildlife trade and consumption in order to both prevent and build resilience to future zoonosis outbreaks, such as e.g. COVID 19. The petition’s signatories believe that wild animals should not be traded and kept as pets. They call firstly on the EU institutions to take immediate action and regulate the exotic pet trade within the EU, and therefor to adopt an EU-wide ‘Positive List’ stating which animal species are more suitable and safer as pets. The petitioner considers that such a preventive instrument would generate a “deeply transformative policy”, with checks of many boxes included in the European Green Deal. The “do no harm” principle would be at its very core, it would empower consumers to make informed and sustainable choices, based on reliable, comparable and verifiable information. The petitioner believes that solely EU-wide legislation can ensure that only species that are not harmful for the local environment, global biodiversity, people and other animals are allowed to enter the EU. The petitioner bases her statement also on recent opinion polls with citizens. The petitioner builds also on arguments related to the internal market: the initiative would remove obstacles and distortions to this trade between Member States due to the differences between their legislations.