GUE/NGL MEP Stefan Eck welcomed the approval by the European Parliament today of the introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pet animals across Member States.

“I believe that a compatible system of identification and registration for pets across the EU will have wider benefits than just tackling illegal trade alone; these benefits include tracing the source of a disease outbreak, addressing animal abuse as well as other animal welfare concerns” – said Stefan Eck.

He added that “compatible systems of identification and registration requirements for dogs and cats will reduce the scope for document falsification and illegal trading, improving animal welfare, protecting public and animal health, and providing for effective intra-Union traceability”.

Dogs and cats trade represents annual revenue estimated at 1.3 billion euros. Only 13% of purchased companion animals come from professional breeders.

MEP Eck noted that “growing trade, both legal and illegal, in wild animals commonly kept as pets significantly compromises individual animal welfare and puts human health and safety at risk; the majority of exotic and wild animals are not suited for a life in captivity”.

He called on the European Commission to adopt effective measures to tackle illegal trade in pets, including wild animals kept as pets, and reminded of the growing abuse of the Pet Travel Scheme, which is being exploited for commercial purposes.

Finally, Stefan Eck underlined that “the lack of vaccination, appropriate antiviral treatment, and veterinary and sanitary care among illegally trade pets often results in the need to treat them with antibiotics increasing the risk of antimicrobial-resistance”.

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