Joint Statement: "Identification and Registration of Companion Animals in the European Union"

Brussels, November 2010: Following an invitation of VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS and Istituto G. Caporale Teramo, a first round table of representatives of national, EU and international organisations working on databases for companion animals met on 8 September 2010 in Brussels. The meeting was also attended by a representative of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The meeting was concluded with an agreement on the following points:

  • Identification, registration and traceability are essential tools to promote the responsible ownership of companion animals;
  • EU legislation and policies, including Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, recognise the importance of animal welfare. Therefore an EU-wide commitment for ethically sound solutions to the problem of dog overpopulation is consistent with the EU mandate and has to be developed accordingly, with the involvement of all interested parts;
  • In the planned Animal Health law, an EU-wide mandatory identification, registration and traceability of companion animals (dogs and cats) has to be considered;
  • EU-wide mandatory identification, registration and traceability of companion animals would support minimising the risk of zoonosis and is an important aspect of One Health;
  • The mandatory identification, registration and traceability of companion animals would enable efficient reuniting of pets and owners and is an important aspect of animal welfare;
  • Public awareness is of critical importance in order to develop changes in culture of responsibility towards companion animals;
  • Veterinarians should play a key role as the professional approach for the identification and registration, education of the public and promotion of this message;
  • European-wide compatible systems of data management should be further developed, and established at the European level;
  • This process, rather than leading to increased bureaucracy and costs, would actually simplify many procedures and save taxpayers money at the local and national levels, facilitating the reunion of lost pets with their families;
  • The new network welcomes the initiative for companion animals in Europe of the Belgian Presidency and the new website “CAROdog”’ that can be used at the international level as a platform to share information and expertise;
  • The next meeting of the network will consider the opportunity of organising a workshop on dentification, registration and traceability of companion animals in Europe.

    VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS International – Istituto G. Caporale Teramo – Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment – Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) – Datamars (Petmaxx) – Europetnet – TASSO

    For further information, please contact:
    Istituto G. Caporale Teramo
    Dr. Paolo dalla Villa, 
    Head of Unit Animal Welfare and Research

    Dr. Marlene Wartenberg, 
    Director, European Policy Office in Brussels