The number of animals coming into the United Kingdom under the EU non-commercial movement legislation has increased rapidly since 2012.
An in-depth investigation by Dogs Trust has uncovered a range of problems with compliance with this legislation. In every Member State, the national authorities are responsible for issuing pet passports to vets. However, commercial dealers are aided and abetted by unscrupulous vets who are prepared to issue pet passports with falsified data. Although the new regulation ((EU) No 576/2013) came into force in December 2014, it is unlikely to solve the issues.
1. Is the Commission aware of the compliance issues with this legislation?
2. If so, what does the Commission intend to do to resolve them?
3. To the Commission’s knowledge, is this an issue affecting a large number of Member States?
1. The European Commission is aware of the report produced in November 2014 by the UK animal welfare charity ‘Dogs Trust’ through uncover investigations in two Member States. This report alleges a number of instances of false certification in relation to pet passports issued under Regulation (EC) No 998/2003, repealed as of 29 December 2014 by Regulation (EU) No 576/2013.
2. In order to prevent such practices, which might pose animal health risks, the European Parliament and the Council have included in Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 a stronger legal base for Member States to carry out controls on the cross-border movements of pet animals. They also introduced new rules on the distribution of blank pet passports by the competent authority and obliged the authorised veterinarians to keep records. The authorisation of veterinarians to carry out the tasks foreseen by that regulation is subject to prior training to be organised by the competent authority.
Member States are responsible for the control and enforcement of Union legislation and are to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this legislation. 3. To the Commission’s knowledge, this issue did affect two Member States which have informed the Commission of the corrective actions they have taken in response to the Dogs Trust report.