A discussion on the welfare of companion animals took place in Brussels

30 October 2013, Last updated at, 11:18 EET
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On 28 October, at the conference on the welfare of companion animals named “Building a Europe that cares for companion animals“, which was organised in Brussels, the welfare of companion animals – cats and dogs was for the first time discussed at the EU level, EU Member States shared their experience and the European Commission presented plans in this field.

This topic attracted considerable interest of the European Commission, veterinary specialists and non-governmental organisations. As we know, veterinary requirements are established on the EU level for the trade in pet animals and their non-commercial movement between Member States. Discussions focussed on the importance of microchipping and registration of companion animals, the necessity of controlling the breeding of and trade in companion animals as those were the areas of the highest risk with regard to the welfare of dogs and cats.

The European Union Strategy for the Welfare of Animals 2012- 2015 was presented in the conference. Representatives of Lithuania presented an overview of the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection of the Republic of Lithuania and the publication presenting this law, which was published by the State Food and Veterinary Service in co-operation with the European Commission, the Seimas of Lithuania, Ministry of Agriculture and the non-governmental organisation “VIER PFOTEN International“. An exhibition of drawings of Lithuanian schoolchildren “Animal is Man’s Friend” was displayed at the conference.

As a continuation to the conference a seminar was organised on the initiative of Lithuania in its Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels on 29 October where issues of the welfare of dogs and cats used for commercial purposes were discussed. Three major areas were identified by animal welfare experts – pet animal breeding, trade in them in the Member States as well as their microchipping and registration. The participants of the seminar will summarise the problems related to the welfare of companion animals, prepare information and draft proposals to the European Commission for the areas, which could be subject to regulation on the EU level.

The organisers of the conference and the seminar were the European Commission, Lithuania, which holds the presidency of the EU Council, non-governmental organisations “Eurogroup for Animals“, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and “VIER PFOTEN International“.

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