In a groundbreaking move, the European Commission has proposed extensive reforms to EU rules on animal welfare during transport, marking the most significant overhaul in recent years.
As reported by iEfimerida, the package introduces new regulations for the welfare and traceability of dogs and cats, setting uniform EU standards for breeding, housing, and handling.
The proposed changes aim to address the concerns of EU citizens, with Commissioner Stella Kyriakides emphasizing the importance of improving animal welfare as a political priority. The rules encompass reducing travel times, ensuring minimum space for various animals, and implementing strict conditions for transportation in extreme temperatures.
In response to the European Citizens' Initiative "Fur Free Europe," the Commission is considering measures to ban fur farming and the sale of fur products in the EU market. Acknowledging the citizens' concerns, the Commission is committed to assessing the health and environmental impacts, aligning with the 'One Health Approach.'
The proposal emphasizes leveraging digital tools for enforcement, introducing real-time vehicle positioning and a central database.
With around 44% of EU households having pets, the uniform rules for the welfare of dogs and cats aim to tackle varying standards and the surge in illegal online trades, which now constitute 60% of all dog and cat sales in the EU.
To ensure responsible ownership, the Commission suggests offering training to animal handlers and raising awareness among prospective pet owners.
Moreover, the proposal requires imports of dogs and cats to meet equivalent welfare standards, fostering a comprehensive approach to animal welfare across member states.
The Commission has also tasked the European Food Safety Authority with providing a scientific opinion on the welfare of animals in fur farming, aligning with the 'One Health Approach' in their decision-making process.
[With information sourced from iEfimerida]