Following the first meeting of the Platform on 6 June, during which a number of Member States mentioned companion animal welfare, including the illegal trade in dogs and cats, as suggestions for topics for the Platform:
1. Can the Commission confirm whether it is still its expectation that companion animals, including the illegal trade therein, will be included as a topic for the Platform, and indicate the timeframe for this?
2. Does the Commission intend to include MEPs in the work of the Platform, and in which format?
1. The topic of companion animals was indeed raised in the inaugural meeting of the Platform on Animal Welfare on 6 June 2017. The Commission is currently considering the possible topics to be discussed at future sessions of the Platform. It would thus be premature to confirm at this stage which topics will be addressed.
As the Commission pointed out in its answer to written question E-000591/2017, “The Commission will assess the work done by the Platform and inform the European Parliament on the Platform’s work in accordance with Article 13 of the Commission Decision setting up the Platform”.
2. The Platform on Animal Welfare is a Commission expert group. The participation of European Parliament's experts in Commission expert groups is governed by the Framework Agreement signed by the Commission and the Parliament in October 2010. According to point 15 and annex 1 of the Framework Agreement, upon being requested by Parliament the Commission may decide to invite Parliament to send Parliament experts to attend expert group meetings. Taking into account the nature of expert groups, which operate at administrative or technical level, the Commission takes the view that the participation of officials working for the Parliament's administration is appropriate, in an observer capacity.