Commissioner Kyriakides welcomes new ‘Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over Report’
The report is based on the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Eurogroup for Animals’ expert workshop, “The Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over” of 21 April 2020. It explores the shortcomings of the control systems of the online pet trade that are currently in place and looks at best practices in how to better protect animals, consumers and ultimately taxpayers, including how these could be rolled out across Europe as a whole.
Top recommendations for the European Commission include:
- to issue a delegated act on mandatory identification and registration of dogs and cats under the Animal Health Law;
- to educate consumers on risks related to pet trade fraud e.g. via Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency;
- the digital Services Act to set up clear rules on the responsibilities of online platforms to fight and remove illegal goods and content, including illegal pet ads. It should increase their responsibility to verify pet sellers via backend checks;
- to fund the enforcement projects under the European Regional Development Fund and Internal Security Fund.
‘The Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over’ online workshop moved us one step closer to tackling the illegal online pet trade in Europe. Thanks to experts from almost all European countries, we were able to come forward with a series of recommendations at national and EU level - said Reineke Hameleers, CEO at Eurogroup for Animals.
The report is a first of its kind providing a comprehensive overview of problems and solutions. With 100 experts elaborating on the topics of pets, traceability, consumers, online platforms, organised crime and tax evasion, it serves as a reference point and mandatory summer read for policy makers and stakeholders who wish to make the pet trade across Europe safer.
The release is more than timely as just a week ago, the seventh meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare saw the endorsement of the infographics and leaflets for consumers and online platforms developed by Health & Welfare of Pets (dogs) in trade Voluntary Initiative Group.
We see 21 April 2021, the day the EU Animal Health Law enters into force, as a deadline to show if the EU truly Cares for Our Companions - added Reineke Hameleers.