Cats and Dogs

While for many of us, cats and dogs are valued members of our families that are loved and cared for, others see them as a source of income through breeding or commercial trading, or an unnecessary burden if they become strays.

The illegal pet trade affects not only the health and welfare of the cats and dogs involved, but also consumer rights, public health – by potential exposure to zoonotic diseases – and tax revenues collected at the national level. It also feeds directly into stray populations if animals get abandoned. We work with EU institutions, Member States and other stakeholders such as consumer organisations to bring this trade to an end.  

As part of the EU Animal Welfare Platform’s own initiative sub-group on the health and welfare of pets in trade, representing 13 EU Member States, we recently finalised guidelines for consumers acquiring and for platforms advertising animals online:

Thanks to cooperation with top animal welfare organisations, academics and professionals worldwide, we are defining the best standards possible for breeding, socialising and commercial transport of cats and dogs. 

What do we want to achieve? 

  • Europe-wide guidelines on the protection of cats and dogs during breeding and sale
  • EU legislation on mandatory identification and registration of companion animals
  • EU and national legislation on registration of all breeders and sellers of dogs and cats
  • Guidelines that prohibit breeding practices that pose health risks to cats and dogs
  • Species-specific binding guidelines to protect dogs and cats during commercial transport 
  • Humane stray animal population management embedded in all EU Member States

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