Dog and Cat Breeding

Dog and Cat Breeding

The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is calling for collaborative action to stop the suffering of dogs and cats that develop serious health issues as a result of extreme breeding to exaggerate features such as flat faces, narrowed nostrils, skin folds and protruding eyes. Certain breeds of dogs and cats are bred this way to make them look more appealing but the reality is that these exaggerated features can lead to a range of health and welfare issues such as breathing difficulties, recurring skin infections, eye diseases and spinal or neurological problems.

Another concern is that puppies and kittens bred in poor conditions can experience certain health problems. If puppies and kittens are bred in poor conditions, they may also not be given enough experience of different environments, people or other animals to allow them to develop into confident adult animals. When dogs develop fear–related behaviour problems, this can be a long term threat to their welfare as well as being a problem for owners and one of the top reasons for animals being handed over to a rehoming organisation.

Adult breeding dogs which have been removed from commercial breeding establishments and rehomed as pets have also been reported to have health and behaviour problems.

As it is currently left to Member States to legislate on the breeding and trade of dogs and cats, this means that national requirements, and their enforcement, can vary across the EU.

We are calling for:

  • Collaborative action to stop the suffering of dogs and cats that develop serious health issues as a result of extreme breeding and breeding practices. 
  • EU legislation requiring the compulsory permanent identification and registration of dogs and cats on an appropriate database, which is linked to an EU database. This would allow traceability to help protect animal health and welfare, public health and improve consumer protection.
  • EU legislation requiring the licensing of dog and cat breeders by Member States. This would improve the functioning of the EU internal market by ensuring minimum standards across all Member States, as well as improving animal welfare and ensuring consumer protection.