MEPs back calls from EU Dog & Cat Alliance to end illegal pet trade

A resolution calling for action to be taken against illegal pet trafficking to protect animal welfare, consumers and public health has been adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today (12 Feb).    

MEPs voted with an overwhelming majority to support the motion demanding an EU-wide action plan to help end the illegal pet trade by bringing in a range of measures, such as a mandatory Identification and Registration system, as well as better enforcement of the law and tougher deterrents.

Responsibilities should be clearly defined to include the European Commission, Member States, veterinary professionals, civil society organisations, as well as authorities including border and customs control, MEPs agreed, and there should be a greater emphasis on adopting, rather than purchasing, companion animals.

EU Dog & Cat Alliance chairwoman Suzie Carley said:

Each year a worrying number of pets are illegally traded in the EU and mis-sold to unsuspecting animal lovers who think they’re getting a happy, healthy pet. Dishonest sellers are exploiting pet movement laws to make quick profits, with little or no regard for animal welfare or the threat this poses to public health. The Alliance has been calling for urgent action and we hope to work with the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States to build a better Europe for dogs and cats.”

The resolution follows the Council of the EU publishing draft conclusions on animal welfare in December, which request the Commission considers new legislation covering dogs and cats kept for financial gain.

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety is asking for the resolution to now be passed on to the Council of the EU and European Commission for action to be taken.

 Martin Hojsik MEP, who sits on the Committee, said:

 “This is a significant step in the fight against the illegal pet trade and now we hope the Council and Commission will continue to progress the resolution. We want to see positive action, including from Member States, to make the Committee’s recommendations a reality, by working in tandem with the EU Dog & Cat Alliance.”

For more information on the EU Dog & Cat Alliance’s work, visit