In its response to Written Question E-011841/2015, the Commission stated that: ‘smuggling and illegal intra-union movements of pets often escape the controls by the veterinary services, as by their nature, those activities are often difficult to detect by official controls. However, the awareness of the official services is an essential contributor in detecting those movements. […] The FVO proposes to discuss the point of illegal non-commercial movements of pets in the next meeting of the national contact points for animal welfare during transport which is to take place 1-3 December 2015. This discussion should allow the identification of best practices in tackling such illegal trade and will be followed up firstly by sharing these practices and intelligence with the authorities involved in the different Member States. Then the Commission, together with the Member States, can review in 2016 whether such controls have been successfully improved and decide on further steps in this area.’
Can the Commission outline what best practices it has identified in tackling the illegal trade in pets in the EU and what further steps it plans to take in this regard?
Does the Commission’s Health and Food Audits and Analysis Directorate plan to audit compliance with Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 and Directive 92/65/EEC, and can it outline a timeframe for this?
The Commission’s Health and Food Audits and Analysis Directorate included a point on illegal non-commercial movements of pets in the agenda of the meeting of the national contact points for animal welfare during transport which took take place on 1- 3 December 2015.
Two Member States (Ireland and Belgium), and Switzerland gave presentations on the work they had undertaken in this area and put forward a number of proposals for best practices to the meeting participants. Ireland’s suggestions concerned mandatory requirements for dog breeders, Belgium’s concerned mandatory identification and registration of dogs and cats as well as laws relating to the import of pets, and Switzerland’s concerned measures to decrease illegal puppy importation in Switzerland.
The minutes and presentations from the meeting were distributed to all Members States for them to consider in their controls in this area. The Commission will be pleased to send copy of these documents to the Honourable Member.
The Commission priorities for its Health and Food Audits and Analysis Directorate's work programme for 2017 focus on welfare of farmed animals, notably dairy cattle, long distance transport for export of live animals and the prevention of tail biting/routine tail docking of pigs.
As a consequence, the Commission has not included monitoring compliance with Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 and Directive 92/65/EEC in its work programme for this period.