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Wednesday, 12th February 2020

Stop illegal trade in cats and dogs, says European Parliament

Front Page

An estimated 46,000 dogs are traded between EU countries every month.

MEPs have today called for an EU Action Plan to end illegal trade in companion animals. The move is to protect animal welfare, pet owners and public health. 

With a vote of 607 for to 3 votes against and 19 abstentions, MEPs have adopted a non-binding resolution demanding action against illegal trade in pets that causes animal to suffer, spreads diseases, and generates high revenues for organised international crime.

MEPs are calling for measures, such as:

  • a mandatory EU system to register cats and dogs,
  • an EU definition of large-scale commercial breeding facilities, known as puppy mills,
  • improved law enforcement and tougher sanctions, and
  • encouraging people to adopt, rather than purchase, pets. 


An estimated 46,000 dogs are traded between EU countries every month, most of them without being registered. Commercial breeders are abusing the EU’s pet movement legislation which is intended for non-commercial movement of pet animals, e.g. travelling with their owners.

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