EU signs agreement on first dog and cat welfare law

During a meeting this Wednesday between the ambassadors of the EU member countries, the agreement was reached for the first law on the welfare of dogs and cats with specifications on their reproduction, breeding, sale or adoption, shelter, among others

With the purpose of regulating aspects related to the health, breeding, shelter, reproduction, sale or adoption of dogs and cats in the European Union, the ambassadors of the member countries reached an agreement this Wednesday on the first law on the welfare of these animals.

Later, they will have to negotiate with the European Parliament the final version of said law, which will establish specific and minimum standards in the area for the first time.

The Council issued a statement explaining “that the European Commission’s legislative proposal aims to increase the welfare of dogs and cats from breeders, sales establishments and shelters, while also aiming to improve consumer protection, ensure fair competition and combat illegal trade.”

They have clarified that this proposal “does not affect individual pet owners. However, anyone wanting to place a cat or dog on the EU market will have to ensure that it is microchipped for traceability purposes.”

As the requirements of the legislative proposal are minimum standards, Member States can maintain or introduce stricter rules.

The EU advances in the approval of the first dog and cat welfare law (Reference image: Unsplash+, in collaboration with Getty Images)
The EU advances in the approval of the first dog and cat welfare law (Reference image: Unsplash+, in collaboration with Getty Images)


Some of the aspects that will be provided for in this law are:

-The regulation of breeding, with frequency limits and minimum and maximum age.

Prohibition of breeding practices, such as inbreeding (breeding between parents and children; siblings and half-siblings; grandparents and grandchildren), although it is clarified that inbreeding can be used to preserve local breeds with a limited genetic pool.

Prohibition of painful mutilations, such as ear or tail cutting and claw removal, unless it is a medical indication.

Daily access to open spaces for dogs over twelve weeks old, or walks every day.

Operators and establishments will have to ensure that all dogs and cats have a microchip implanted and are registered in a national database before being sold or donated.

-The caretakers of these animals must have “an adequate understanding of their behavior and needs.”

-Social awareness when selling or donating dogs and cats about responsible ownership by pet establishment owners.

-Operators cannot abandon dogs or cats.

-The breeding of hybrids (the result of crossing with a wild species) is prohibited.

-After two cesarean sections, cats and dogs will not be used for reproduction, to preserve their health and well-being.

Dogs and cats with extreme traits should be excluded from breeding, to avoid passing these traits on to future generations if there is a high risk of detrimental effects to their well-being or that of their offspring.

Imports will be subject to the same standards or their equivalents.


Source: swissinfo

(Main reference image source: Guillaume Périgois in Unsplash)

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