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Historic Decision In Brussells - Dogs And Cats And EU Protection

14 years ago

29th November, 2010 16h55

Brussels, 29 November 2010: FOUR PAWS strongly welcomes the result of the Belgian initiative to include dogs and cats into the Animal Welfare Programme of the EU. Today, the EU Council of Ministers agrees that the protection of companion animals will be integrated in the new Community Animal Welfare Action Plan, starting in 2011: EU-wide registration of companion animals will be developed and rules for breeding and trade of dogs and cats will be established. This decision is based on the new Art. 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, according to which Animal Welfare is a basic principle in all political actions and for all species. Huge discrepancies among Member States regarding the attitude towards companion animals still exist. The suffering of stray animals, the illegal puppy trade, health risks for humans and animals and market distortions can eventually find an answer at the European level. Helmut Dungler, President of FOUR PAWS: "We are extremely thankful to the Belgian government, particularly to Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx, for this initiative and the constructive coordination of the EU Presidency. The EU commitment for dogs and cats is a huge step forward for Animal Welfare." This result is also specifically linked to FOUR PAWS: The European Policy Office in Brussels organised two well-recognised conferences on the topic of companion animals in the EU in 2008 and 2010, launched a science-based website ( in the framework of and together with the Belgian Presidency, and created a European network for mandatory registration with suppliers, users and experts. "Now we cannot rest: we have to ensure that the harmonization will take place at the highest level and produce real change for companion animals in Europe” Dungler finally said.

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