The online sale of dogs and cats is a growing market
This raises several challenges for the EU countries in terms of physical control and also in terms of compliance with legislative provisions involving animal health, trade, import and animal welfare rules.
In 2018, the Commission put forward a recommendation on an EU Coordinated Control Plan (CCP) on online sales of dogs and cats. The aim was to help EU countries gain insight into current and possible fraudulent practices. It also highlighted the fact that online sales are subject to official controls.
In this context, the Commission invited the EU countries, on a voluntary basis, to perform a check of online sales of dogs and cats over a four-month period. From 15 October 2018 to 15 February 2019 (extended to 30 April 2019), 17 Member States (plus Switzerland) analysed, controlled and notified websites suspected of non-compliance with EU or national legislation. They checked hundreds of online advertisements proposing dogs and cats for sale and performed inspections in more than half of the cases.