The illegal trade in dogs and cats in the EU is a lucrative and widespread practice with worrying implications for public health.
The Commission’s study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices, published in March 2016, found that there are ‘various zoonotic risks associated with illegal distribution. These include particularly the introduction of rabies from endemic parts of Europe into countries that are rabies free’ as well as parasites due to insufficient deworming.
1. Can the Commission outline the actions it intends to take, if any, to address the public health risks uncovered by its study?
2. What time frame does the Commission envisage for the abovementioned actions?
The Honourable Member is invited to refer to the answers to written questions E-002848/2016, E-005544/2016 and E006758/2016, which address the issues of the study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices and of the Commission’s follow-up on this study.
In relation to the deworming of domestic animals, only dogs that are moved for non-commercial or trade purposes to certain Member States that continuously demonstrate absence of the Echinococcus multilocularis parasite in definitive host animals are required to undergo a pre-entry treatment in accordance with Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1152/2011.
The risk of introducing rabies from remaining endemic parts of the EU into parts that are free from rabies is addressed by the oral vaccination of wildlife implemented in Member States where rabies still occurs and supported since 1989 by the European Union. In addition, dogs and cats have to be vaccinated against rabies when moved for non-commercial or trade purposes from any Member State or non-EU country to a Member State.