The current EU legislation aims to ensure that cats and dogs traded across borders within the EU come from establishments that are registered by the national competent authority. However, this requires adequate resources and proper enforcement.
Lack of regulation and oversight could lead to unscrupulous breeders keeping animals in terrible conditions, as recently seen in Lithuania where a huge illegal dog breeding operation got exposed after a kidnapped dog was found in an illegal puppy mill. Cats and dogs breeding can happen on an even larger scale in ‘pet farms’, with even worse living conditions and treatment, as revealed by a BBC documentary on an investigation led by our member organisation USPCA. With puppy mills and pet farms breeders gain enormous profits at the expense of animals.
In addition, the breeding of cats and dogs for extreme or “desirable” traits is booming across Europe, and their trade is mostly happening online. “Desirable” in this context means desirable for humans, and has a major negative impact on the health of the animals.
Inbreeding enhances the likelihood of passing on inherited disordered conditions which can cause breathing problems, deformed legs or poor eyesight. Overbreeding of some breeds also causes many of them to be abandoned when the trend ends, as the customers are no longer interested.