Urgent Need for Action Against Illegal Puppy Trade  / Eurobarometer Reveals - Europeans Want Greater Animal Protection / End Animal Cruelty, Protect Human and Animal Health

In a joint letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, several members of the EPP Group, led by Marlene Mortler,responsible spokesperson on the topic, Peter Liese, spokesperson for the Committee on Environment and Public Health, and Esther de Lange, Vice Chair of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP-Christian Democrats), have urgently highlighted the need to improve the protection of pets in the EU.

"We can be proud of our high standards of animal welfare in Europe. However, in practice, it is often apparent that our strict rules are circumvented. This has led to a flourishing illegal puppy trade in the EU. With this letter, we strongly urge President von der Leyen and Commissioner Kyriakides and demand a proposal from the Commission, as animal shelter operators repeatedly point out these deficiencies to us. Ultimately, it is about the welfare of all companion animals, such as dogs and cats," explained Mortler.

The letter follows a recently published Eurobarometer survey, according to which an overwhelming majority of 74 percent of European citizens demand enhanced protection for pets. "The illegal trade in pets, particularly puppies, poses a serious problem in the EU. These practices not only violate animal welfare standards but also endanger human health through the transmission of pathogens. It is high time that the European Commission takes action to put a stop to these malpractices," stated the physician and MEP Liese.

The European Parliament had already in 2020 called on the Commission in a resolution to better implement existing law, to introduce an EU-wide identification system for cats and dogs, and to develop an action plan against the illegal pet trade. "We expect the Commission to present a proposal on December 6 for improving animal welfare legislation that takes these demands into account," concluded the EPP Members