Q: Julie Ward (S&D, UK) - EU legislation on the transport of dogs and cats (2018-03-22)

Q: Julie Ward (S&D, UK) - EU legislation on the transport of dogs and cats (2018-03-22)

The Commission has announced its intention to set up a sub-group dedicated to improving the enforcement of EU legislation on animal transport under the EU Platform on Animal Welfare. Under Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, which governs the conditions under which animals should be transported, there are currently very few specific requirements concerning the transport of dogs and cats. It states (in recital 9) that 'specific provisions for poultry, cats and dogs will be set out in appropriate proposals when the relevant opinions of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are available'. The opinion of the EFSA Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare on this issue was published in March 2004 (Question No. EFSA-Q-2003-094) and it includes specific recommendations on the transport of dogs and cats.               

1. Does the Commission intend to add specific requirements for transporting dogs and cats in Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 to better protect their health and welfare as stipulated in recital 9?

2. What is the timeframe envisaged by the Commission for adding these requirements?

3. What steps has the Commission taken since the publication of the EFSA opinion on the welfare of animals during transport, in particular in relation to its recommendations on dogs and cats?


A: Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission (2018-05-04)

The Commission has no plan to add specific welfare requirements for transporting dogs and cats in addition to those already laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport [1] . The reason for this is that, as indicated in a Study on the impact of the Regulation published in 2011 [2], there is a general issue with the proper implementation of existing legislative requirements for dogs and cats.

In addition to establishing the sub-group of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare referred to by the Honourable Member, the Commission has taken a number of initiatives to assist Member States in order to better implement the already existing requirements. Concerning dogs and cats, these initiatives include: discussions at meetings of the national contact points on animal welfare during transport, Better Training for Safer Food [3] events on "Controls on commercial and non-commercial movements of cats and dogs" and a study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices [4] .

[1]     Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97, OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p.1.

[2]     Specific Contract SANCO/2010/D5/S12.574298:


[3]     https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/btsf_en

[4]     Specific Contract SANCO 2013/12364: