Despite 25 per cent of EU households owning at least one pet animal, there are no EU-wide welfare requirements for dog and cat breeding establishments, leaving EU consumers at risk of welcoming dogs and cats with long-term behaviour and health problems into their homes. The lack of harmonised requirements also means breeding animals may be kept in inadequate conditions in establishments in a Member State where standards are lower while breeders can profit from selling their puppies and kittens at a higher price in another Member State.
As a potential solution to these imbalances between Member States, is the Commission considering establishing welfare requirements, such as limits on the number and frequency of pregnancies and requirements for care, socialisation, environmental enrichment and exercise for dogs and cats, and making the approval of establishments by competent authorities conditional upon them?
 FEDIAF, European Statistics 2021: https://europeanpetfood.org/about/statistics/
The Commission is preparing legislative proposals to revise the legislation on the protection of kept animals.
An important part of the ongoing reflection is the inclusion of specific provisions on the protection of cats and dogs in commercial breeding establishments and in trade.
In doing so, the Commission has consulted the experts taking part to the ‘Voluntary initiative on the health and welfare of dogs and cats in trade’, working under the EU Platform on animal welfare . Furthermore, the Commission requested scientific and technical assistance by the European Food Safety Authority on several questions regarding breeding of cats and dogs in commercial establishments.
An impact assessment of potential policy options is ongoing. The assessed potential policy options include measures, such as limits on the frequency of pregnancies and requirements for care, socialisation, environmental enrichment and exercise for dogs and cats, and the approval of commercial breeding establishments by the competent authorities.