Over 50.000 signatures were handed in this week to the Cabinet of Commissioner of DG SANCO Mr John Dalli on 18th April.
Birgitt Thiesmann, head of Competence Centre Companion Animals of FOUR PAWS, together with Marlene Wartenberg, Director of the EU Policy Office, handed in the signatures to the director of Cabinet of the Commissioner for DG SANCO (Health & Consumer) John Dalli and to Mr Harry Vassallo, member of Cabinet. Until the beginning of April the signatures that were gathered regarding illegal puppy trade were 50.233 in total.
Our goal regarding companion animals in Europe is to manage to shape a responsible owner for every animal in the future. Firstly, we defined the problems with illegal puppy trade, which are the following:
1) gap of clear legal competence for companion animals in the EU
2) growing severe Animal Welfare problem
3) risk for Public Health – health of humans and health of animals
4) the common market: Competition distortion
5) gap of Consumer protection
We are therefore asking the EU Commission:
- to include companion animals in the planned Animal Welfare Strategy to be adopted in December 2011, and
- to include the identification and registration also for companion animals as a tool to minimize the public health risk in the new animal health law, planned for 2012.
At present, enforcement by controls should be strengthened in the respective Member States and the EU Commission should ask for reports.
Finally, as the EU AW Policy is based on the “Five Freedoms” (www.carodog.eu – see link below) and the principle of “responsible ownership” (www.carodog.eu - see link below) the EU Commission has to consider our argumentation.
--> Five Freedom (EC)
--> Responsible dog ownership (OIE; ICAM)