In a vote in plenary on 12 February 2020, Parliament adopted a resolution on ‘Protecting the EU’s internal market and consumer rights against the negative implications of the illegal trade in companion animals’ (2019/2814(RSP)). The resolution includes points relating to the identification and registration of cats and dogs. In it, Parliament ‘calls on the Member States to introduce policies with the aim of marking and registering all cats and dogs by default in the battle against animal abuse’.
Parliament stresses that a system of mandatory identification and registration of cats and dogs is crucial in the fight against the illegal trade in companion animals. It draws attention to the need for these animals to be recorded in a national animal identification and registration file, and calls on the Commission to come forward with a proposal for detailed EU-wide, compatible systems for the means and methods of identification and registration of cats and dogs.
In light of the above: What is the state of play of the work in the Commission on the proposal for the introduction of rules on systems for the means and methods of identification and registration of cats and dogs?
A: Commissioner Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission
The EU has legislation in place on the identification of cats and dogs. It applies for movements between Member States either for commercial(1) or for non-commercial purposes(2). It addresses the health risk posed by these movements, mainly rabies, ensuring the correct identification, vaccination and movement of cats and dogs. Identification and registration of cats and dogs, the conditions they are kept and movement on national territory is the competence of Member States.
The EU Animal Health Law (AHL)(3) and its supplementing acts that will apply as of 21 April 2021 will strengthen the existing requirements by introducing the following elements:
— Compulsory registration of establishments breeding dogs and cats (Article 84 of the AHL), regardless of whether the dogs and cats are to be moved to another Member State or not;
— Compulsory registration of transporters engaged in the transportation of dogs and cats between Member States as provided for in Article 3 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2035(4);
— Approval obligation for shelters and assembly centres from which dogs and cats are to be moved to another Member State as provided for in Articles 10 and 11 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2035.