Since its early days, the CARO project has actively sought to promote responsible dog and cat ownership. It has pioneered this issue in the EU by identifying its key elements, which include personal commitment on the part of individual pet owners and legislative action at the Member State and European level, together with public information and education campaigns and systematic birth control.
On the legislative front, mandatory Identification and Registration (I&R) of companion animals has been singled out as a fundamental tool to promote companion animal welfare. That is the reason why we decided that I&R had to be the issue of the first edition of the CARO Special Focus.
EU-wide I&R would have numerous positive effects: helping to reunite lost or stolen pets with their families; combating illegal breeding activities, which cause immense animal suffering and countless deaths; preventing abandonment of pets and overpopulation of strays; and detecting possible sources of epidemics and other health risks.
On the 17th November 2015 MEP Renate Sommer presented a parliamentary question on the Introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pet animals across Member States (O-000145/2015)
February: an important moment for I&R
MEP Sommer is currently working on a draft resolution on companion animals, which centerpiece will be the call for a mandatory EU-wide system of I&R for cats and dogs. This month can be decisive: pets Identification and Registration will be discussed in plenary in Strasbourg Thursday 4th February ( EP 01 february 2016 ) and that MEP Sommer’s report will be voted during the mini-plenary in Brussels on 25th February(EP 24 25 february 2016 )
The importance of the work that has been done over the last five years by the EU Canine and Feline Traceability Experts Working Group, aimed at generating the political will within the EU institutions to establish an EU-wide harmonised I&R system, and the current edition of the Special Focus on I&R as an excellent information tool for all stakeholders involved in the issue at the EU level reflect its significance.
We do hope that the European Parliament, EU Commission and Member States will start working towards the implementation of a mandatory EU-wide R&I system in the coming months.