The Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over
The large majority of pets from illegal sources are sold online, and their lucrative trade across the EU is often disguised as the noncommercial movement of pets. These cats and dogs often do not comply with the health requirements established in the Regulation (EU) No 576/2013, are too young to have been vaccinated, and are accompanied by fraudulent passports which provide false information on their origin. The illegal Europe-wide trade in pets, which is facilitated by digital tools, threatens not just the welfare of the animals involved, but also animal health, public health and consumers. There is therefore an urgency to improve control mechanisms and revise the broken supply chain. A legal framework must also be provided to ensure this trade can happen in a sustainable, humane way.