DG SANCO Study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices

While the European Union (EU) has legislation on certain health requirements for intra-EU trade on cats and dogs, there is an absence of EU legislation on broader aspects of their welfare. At the national level there is wide variation in animal welfare legislation across the Member States. The recent EU conference on the welfare of dogs and cats in the EU observed that the rise in the lucrative trade of cats and dogs has brought problems such as genetic selection, puppy farming, mutilation and inhumane disposal, but there is currently no harmonised EU legislation to address the welfare concerns.

The overall objective of this DG SANCO study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices is to determine the extent to which the EU should take specific measures on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices and make recommendations for future actions. The measures should aim to achieve a level playing field in the internal market, better protection of the consumer, improved public health and animal health and welfare taking into account subsidiarity and proportionality principles.

VetEffecT will achieve the overall objective by: collecting relevant information through case studies in a number of Member States; analysing the data, and; developing options for possible EU actions. Separate analyses will be carried out for dogs and for cats.These activities are reflected in the specific objectives:
1. To collect socio-economic, technical and legal data and experts’ opinions on the breeding, keeping and trade of dogs and cats in the EU based on case studies in some Member States;
2. To analyse the data in order to identify possible EU relevant issues such as risks to the functioning of the internal market, to the protection of consumers, to public health and to animal welfare, and to assess if citizens are appropriately informed about the risks posed to animals and humans due to illegal/inappropriate dog and cat commercial practices;
3. To provide options on the possible added value of EU actions regarding the breeding, keeping and trade of dogs and cats. Specific notions on how to maximise information dissemination on appropriate breeding, keeping and trade practices (including transport), will be also developed.
 

VetEffecT