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During the Intergroup session yesterday evening Eurogroup for Animals launched a major new campaign to improve the welfare of Europe’s cats and dogs. The Protect Our Pets campaign tackles the growing, underground and illegal pet trade in Europe once and for all.

Today pets are being traded illegally within Europe. This illegal trade severely impacts upon the health and welfare of the animals involved. Many are born in inhumane circumstances, are poorly socialised, transported great distances, and all too often at great risk contracting diseases. Unsuspecting owners buy these pets, often online, and are regularly left heartbroken when things go wrong. This needs to stop!

The campaign uses multi-media tools and social network channels to spread the message and the Protect Our Pets campaign urges members of the public to call for pets across Europe to be properly identified and registered, and therefore linked to an owner.  A dedicated website has also been set up www.protectourpets.eu to facilitate members of the public contacting their MEPs and calling for action now>

“We want to make the invisible, visible. We want to close the loopholes that allow this trade to flourish, and to ensure that dogs, cats and other pets are protected, both from the trade itself, and from the serious disease and behavioural risks that threaten the health and welfare of all animals and owners alike,” stated Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.

To achieve this Eurogroup for Animals is working actively with the European Parliament and in particular Renate Sommer MEP who pushed forward an initiative for a Motion for a Resolution asking the European Commission to mandate the introduction of harmonised national systems for the identification and registration of pets in each Member State, based on the system which has been adopted for equines.

The campaign also calls on members of the public to urge their elected MEPs to write to Commissioner Andriukaitis, the Commissioner in charge of Animal welfare calling for the harmonisation of identification and registration requirements for pets across the EU.

“It is increasingly clear that as long as we have a patchwork of systems for pet identification and registration, the illegal trade in pets will flourish in Europe. We need effective ways to trace ownership cross border, and this requires harmonisation of identification and registration requirements at national level,” stated Renate Sommer MEP.

“It is time for pets – dogs, cats, and exotic pets too – to be recognised as legitimate animal and public health concerns. The European Commission has a clear role to play in the prevention and management of veterinary public health issues. That’s why I am determined to see that the European Parliament as a whole adopts a Resolution, calling for the Commission to use its powers in this area. It’s time to ensure that Europe’s pets are properly protected,” she concluded.

 

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