During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of ‘animal for sale’ advertisements has gone up. The practice of selling animals results in hundreds of them being abandoned every year, causing much suffering and increasing public spending, as these situations have to be resolved.
1. Is the Commission planning to adopt a strategy to prevent animals being abandoned or to improve animal welfare guidelines?
2. Does it believe that, to prevent such practices, initiatives in the Member States need to be financed?
The Commission is not aware of specific issues regarding the selling of animals during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Commission understands that the question by the Honourable Member refers to the selling of pet animals, for example dogs and cats.
The welfare of pet animals is not subject to EU rules. The Commission does not envisage any activities in this area, which remains within the sole competence of the Member States having due regard to the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality.
More generally, t he Commission supports Member States to gain insight in fraudulent practices with initiatives such as the EU Coordinated Control Plan on online sales of dogs and cats .
The Commission also supports the work of the World Organisation for Animal Health on guidelines for the control of stray dog populations .
Furthermore, the Commission presented a Farm to Fork Strategy , which includes actions seeking further improvement on animal welfare.