EU Closer to Granting Protection to Companion Animals

Brussels, 24 November 2010: the EU Member States representatives have decided today that companion animals should formally come under the protection of the EU. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council is expected to formally adopt this decision on Monday or Tuesday next week. 

Only a few weeks after an international conference on ‘Dog Responsible Ownership in Europe’, where the EU was asked to take over this issue, the representatives of the Member States agreed that common action should be taken from the Commission regarding companion animals. FOUR PAWS has been campaigning quite heavily for this topic in the past few years and we are very pleased to see such a step forward so quickly. So far, the welfare of companion animals had been considered as part of subsidiarity and, as such, entirely delegated to Member States. 

Within the Belgian Presidency, VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS and the Istituto G. Caporale launched the website in September 2010, with the aim to provide, generate and disseminate reliable knowledge about dogs’ health and welfare in Europe. Furthermore, the international conference ‘Responsible Dog Ownership in Europe’ organised by VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS and Istituto G. Caporale, held in Brussels on 4 and 5 October 2010 at the presence of over 100 participants from over 25 countries, made clear that most Member States were failing to respond adequately to dog overpopulation, to the increase of stray animal population in general and to EU citizens’ concerns on dog – and other companion animals – welfare. A Summary of the Conference has been recently published on the carodog website. 

For additional information please contact:
Dr Marlene Wartenberg
Director, European Policy Office
Mobile: +32 476 89 38 21