Q: Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE, PT) - Cat and dog welfare in transport (2023-06-20)

Q: Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE, PT) - Cat and dog welfare in transport (2023-06-20)

Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations[1] contains very few provisions to protect the welfare of cats and dogs transported for commercial purposes. Given that cats and dogs are often transported long distances across the EU for sale or rehoming, minimum requirements for the environment inside the vehicle, as well as a fitness check prior to the journey, are needed to ensure that animals do not experience excessive discomfort, stress or suffering during commercial journeys.

1. In the revision of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, does the Commission intend to introduce dog- and cat-specific requirements for the environment in which they are transported commercially, including species-specific temperature and humidity limits and container space requirements?

2. Has the Commission assessed the feasibility of species-specific pre-departure welfare checks, for example to ensure dogs and cats are physically and behaviourally fit to be transported and free from welfare and health issues such as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome?

[1] OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.

A: Ms Kyriakides on behalf of European Commission

An important objective of the EU animal welfare legislation revision, as announced in the Farm to Fork Strategy on 20 May 2020[1], is to broaden the scope of the existing legislation and include specific provisions on the protection of cats and dogs during transport. The impact assessment is being finalised and policy options for the planned legislative proposals are being carefully assessed.

1. The Commission is indeed looking into ways to introduce, among other measures, specific requirements for commercial transport of cats and dogs.

2. The Commission has not mandated a formal feasibility study on fitness checks before transport for cats and dogs. The question is addressed in the recommendations developed by the expert members of the ‘Voluntary initiative on the health and welfare of dogs and cats in trade’[2], operating under the EU Platform on animal welfare, and considered in the process of the impact assessment.

[1] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/lega...

[2] https://food.ec.europa.eu/anim...