In December 2017, the Spanish Congress unanimously supported the launch of a procedure to reform the Civil Code with the aim of removing the legal 'objectification' of animals and having them treated as 'living creatures with feelings', in the same way that Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Portugal have already done.
The import of live animals, whether domestic or exotic, carries a public health risk for Europeans as animals are not always checked for vaccination and disease in non-EU countries.
The breeding, purchase and sale of animals runs counter to this legal notion and is unethical. It equates animals with 'goods', and consequently people who acquire their lives by purchasing them are more likely to abandon them, since the transaction promotes their 'objectification'. This is why the breeding of animals for sale is the main cause of overcrowding in dog homes and shelters.
(1) What action is the Commission taking, or intending to take, to stop the import of live animals, whether domestic or exotic, into the EU?
(2) What action is it taking, or intending to take, to stop the breeding of animals for sale?
The European Union has an extensive set of rules to protect the health and wellbeing of animals. These rules include legislation on animal welfare (1), and legislation only very recently adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on animal health (2), official controls (3) and animal breeding (4).
The Commission has therefore no intention to propose new legislation in the areas of animal health, welfare or breeding
1 Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23).
2 Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health ('Animal Health Law') (OJ L 84, 31.3.2016, p. 1).
3 Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, p. 1).
4 Regulation (EU) 2016/1012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on zootechnical and genealogical conditions for the breeding, trade in and entry into the Union of purebred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs and the germinal products thereof and amending Regulation (EU) No 652/2014, Council Directives 89/608/EEC and 90/425/EEC and repealing certain acts in the area of animal breeding ('Animal Breeding Regulation') (OJ L 171, 29.6.2016, p. 66).