This question follows on from Written Questions E-013257/2015 and E-015205/2015.
The answer given to the latter was: ‘The study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices is still under scrutiny. As soon as it is finalised and duly analysed by the Commission, the Commission will be in a position to respond to the question’.
However, as I have still not received a response, even though the Commission published the final report in March 2016 (the study having been carried out between early 2014 and early 2015), I would like to know what the next steps will be, especially given that the report was published without any accompanying recommendations.
1. Can the Commission explain how it intends to interact with Parliament and the Member States regarding the results of the study?
2. Can it outline the next steps it will take to address the issues uncovered in the study, and indicate the timeframe for these actions?
3. Are there any other actions the Commission will take to stop illegal pet trade?
The study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practice s was mandated by the Commission in the context of the Commission's statement annexed to Regulation (EU) No 576/2013. As explained in the published disclaimer, the contents of the study are the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Commission. While the study provides a very useful analysis, it is not mandated to bring forward commitments or specific plans for action on behalf of the Commission.
The Commission will assess the contents of the study in the context of the review of existing EU animal health rules regarding crossborder movements of dogs and cats accompanying their owner or for trade purposes. This review will be carried out within the scope of empowerments conferred on the Commission by the European Parliament and the Council and the time limit set out in the recently adopted Animal Health Law.
The enforcement of those rules is the responsibility of Member States. In order to assist Member States in their endeavour to improve the controls on the cross-border movement of dogs and cats and to raise awareness amongst official services to better detect illegal practices, the Commission decided already in 2013 to extend the scope of its ‘Better training for safer food’ initiative (BTSF) to those movements to facilitate exchange of best practices, experience and intelligence between authorities. The former BTSF participants who are to disseminate the information received during the trainings across their country act as members of a network where daily findings are shared, including with the Commission which thus constantly assesses the need for adapting the rules within the limits of its mandate.