According to various published studies,(1) large mass breeding gangs are operating within the EU, breeding and selling certain breeds of puppies. These gangs are most probably infringing both European Directives and national legislation in efforts to inflate their profits. The way in which they achieve this is of course abominable; on the rare occasions that police in the Member States have identified such set-ups, the living conditions of the animals were nothing short of tragic and entirely unhygienic and the animals had fictitious vaccination certificates. Apart from the obvious health risk, this is a huge ethical concern, as we consider that such treatment of animals undermines the principles and values of the EU. The only motive for this is profit.
In view of the above, will the Commission say:
1. whether it is aware that such breeding gangs exist?
2. what measures it intends to take to stop this from happening?
The Honourable Member is invited to refer to the answers to written questions E-007896/2014, which address the issues of trade in puppies and the EU competence on this matter. The Commission is aware of the puppy trade including the breeding practices in some Member States. The Commission launched a study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices that will be completed in June 2015. Once it is available the Commission will assess the relevance of its contents and whether any specific action is necessary.