At last week’s session of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, the Environment Committee rapporteur, Dr Horst Schnellhardt MEP (EPP, DE), gave a presentation on his draft report on the proposed revision of the Regulation on the non-commercial movement of pet animals.

The Commission proposal, which is intended to repeal and replace Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 on animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals, aims primarily at protecting human and animal health.

The rapporteur has in particular sought to improve the readability and clarity of the Commission’s proposal in order to allow for a clear, unambiguous application by pet owners, veterinarians, enforcement staff, competent authorities and other actors involved in the non-commercial movement of pets. As a result, the wording and occasionally the order of certain articles have been changed while often keeping to the main message of a respective provision.

To improve the user friendliness, the ease of the application of this regulation as well as to guarantee uniformity, the rapporteur has suggested the inclusion of a model of each type of identification document in the annex of this regulation so that it will no longer be necessary to search and read through numerous subsequent legal acts to identify the correct layout.

Claire Calder, Policy Officer Companion at Animals Eurogroup for Animals presented its position on the proposed revision of the Regulation and used the opportunity to call for the compulsory permanent identification and registration of animals which are being moved between EU Member States, as well as their pet passports. This would significantly contribute to a truly efficient traceability of the animals.

The Commission proposal does not limit the number of animals that can be transported in a non-commercial movement which increases the risk that commercial movements could be disguised as non-commercial movements. Claire Calder welcomed the fact that Dr Schnellhardt MEP has identified this risk and included a maximum limit of five animals. However, he has also proposed a derogation from this rule applying to pets which go to competitions or shows. This can open the possibility for loopholes unless the derogation is linked with clear and restrictive requirements.

Eurogroup for Animals’ key demands for amendments to the draft report

  1.  Introduction of compulsory registration of pets and their passports to ensure traceability.
  2.  Amendment of the derogation from the maximum number of pet animals which may be moved in a single non-commercial movement, to ease enforcement and minimise the risk of commercial movements being disguised as non-commercial movements.
  3. Further amendments to the identification document details, to ensure traceability and to help to avoid the use of incorrectly or fraudulently completed identification documents.
  4. Further amendments to the information obligations of Member States, so that the general requirements of the Regulation are clear to both veterinarians and the public.
  5. Amendments to the derogation from the anti-rabies vaccination for young pet animals, to minimise the risk of disease spread.



Deadline for tabling amendments: 27 September 2012

Adoption in the Environment Committee: 6 November 2012

Adoption in Plenary: 10-11 December 2012


Rapporteur : EPP: Horst Schnellhardt MEP

Shadow rapporteurs  

S&D Justas   Vincas Paleckis, LT
ALDE Chris   Davies, UK
Greens/EFA Jill   Evans UK
ECR Marina   Yannakoudakis UK



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