​Q: Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE, ES) - Measures to combat the illegal trade in pets in the EU (2015-09-15)

Q: Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE, ES) - Measures to combat the illegal trade in pets in the EU (2015-09-15)

The illegal pet trade continues to boom in Europe. In Spain alone the authorities estimate that 8 000 dogs are imported each month, in deplorable conditions, without the required documentation.

The Member States — with the exception of Italy, where illegally trading in dogs or cats has been a criminal offence since 2010 — have so far failed to take any action or carry out the necessary inspections. The EU has similarly failed to introduce legislation, despite the request made by Parliament in 2012.

To combat this scourge, experts, NGOs, and the Commission, in its statement in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013, have stressed the need to introduce a compulsory system of identification and registration at EU level.

1. In view of its importance, and the answer to my Written Question (E-006548-15), when exactly will the study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices be published?

2. Will the Commission keep its promise to harmonise rules on pet identification and registration in the European Union after the publication of this study?

3. Does it intend to take any further steps to tighten up inspections and prevent the commercially motivated abuse that occurs under the current pet passport system?

A: Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission (6.11.2015)

1. The Commission intends to present the outcomes of the study on dogs and cats involved in commercial practices before the end of the year.

2. Legal options for the protection of human and animals from possible risks may only be considered if the outcome of that study would indicate human and animal health risks arising from those commercial practices. 3. In order to prevent illegal trade in pet animals, which might pose animal and public health risks, the European Parliament and the Council have included in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 a strong legal base for Member States to carry out controls on the cross-border non-commercial movements of pet animals. Member States are responsible for the control and enforcement of Union legislation and are to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this legislation. In the framework of its “Better Training for Safer Food” initiative, the Commission supports Member States by providing training of official veterinarians on the rules applicable for the cross border movements of dogs and cats.