Fighting illegal pet trade with the help of Identification & Registration

6 Oct 2021
The 6th meeting of the European Parliament’s Companion Animals Working Group chaired by MEP Petras Austrevicius gathered experts: Dr. Sarah Hüller, Coordinator of the Network I&R; Georgia Diamantopoulou, EU Companion Animal Policy Coordinator; and Philip McCreight, Co-founder of the Network I&R, CEO TASSO e.V., to discuss the issues surrounding the Identification & Registration (I&R) of companion animals.

Zooming in on different Member States, participants looked in particular at cases of Germany and Ireland, where with different cost-efficient solutions an objective of coordinated and interlinked I&R systems could be achieved to improve animal-owner reunification rates and protect consumers from illegal pet trade.

Solutions like HABS (Pet Query Service) by TASSO e.V. in Germany, a meta search engine which allows users to access information from all connected databases, and PetSafe by Four Paws and Europetnet, currently tested in Ireland, that allows only verified, registered dogs to be advertised by registered, hence traceable, owners or keepers, provide tangible solutions to interconnectedness and illegal trade problems. 

Establishing an effective and efficient I&R system has a multitude of benefits such as informing and protecting the consumer, ensuring responsible breeding and selling of pets and enforcing I&R nationally and EU-wide. While both projects target the essence of the problem, there is still a need, however, to target the demand side of the illegal pet trade, namely consumers.

The expert presentations were followed by an exchange of views with MEPs and a discussion on how to best approach the issue of I&R on EU level. 

For detailed presentations by Dr Sarah Hüller and Philip McCreight, and the announcements of the European Parliament’s Companion Animals’ Working Group please follow our website. If you wish to receive direct invitations to the meetings, please fill in the form.