To protect animal welfare, pet owners and public health, Members of the European Parliament are calling for an EU Action Plan to end illegal trade in companion animals.
With 607 votes for, 3 votes against and 19 abstentions, MEPs on Wednesday adopted a non-binding resolution demanding action against illegal trade in pets that causes animal to suffer, spreads diseases, and generates high revenues for organised international crime.
Specifically, MEPs are calling for measures, such as a mandatory EU system to register cats and dogs, and an EU definition of large-scale commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills.
Additionally, MEPS want improved law enforcement and tougher sanctions, and programs aimed at encouraging people to adopt, rather than purchase, pets.
An estimated 46,000 dogs are traded between EU countries every month, most of them without being registered. Commercial breeders are abusing the EU’s pet movement legislation (Regulation (EU) No 576/2013), intended for non-commercial movement of pet animals, e.g. traveling with their owners.