We have welcomed the launch of a new study into the puppy trade across Europe, amid concerns of poor welfare standards and breeding practices.

We have concerns that dogs and cats within some EU member states are being bred irresponsibly and with welfare standards that fall well below even the minimum standards in the UK.

Joe Moran, our senior parliamentary adviser for Europe, said he hopes the new study by the European Commission could be the first step towards consistent licensing and registration of dog and cat breeders and traders within the European Union.

He said:

“The illegal trade of puppies across Europe is big business and one that must be brought out of the shadows.


“Research shows that up to one in five dogs bought in the UK may come via a puppy farm, whether from within the UK or from elsewhere in Europe.


“Many puppies sold from this trade also suffer from severe behavioural problems, meaning they can be very difficult to keep as pets.


“Moreover, some 60 per cent of infectious diseases to humans originate in animals. With puppies being traded illegally across the EU, without proper checks and often in dire conditions, the threat to human and animal health is both present and dangerous.”

This is a problem that really does need tackling

While the budget granted to the new study may limit the level of data acquired, we hope that the results can be used to formulate improved legislation and ultimately higher animal welfare standards.

Joe added:

“The work will start in earnest with the new Commission when they come into post in November 2014. However, we hope that this study and any input we can provide will show that this is a problem that really does need tackling.”

Last year we worked with the Animal Welfare Foundation to launch the Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack, which was created to give buyers the best chance of getting a fit, healthy happy and well socialised pet.

The Puppy Contract was also designed to give good breeders the chance to demonstrate the care and attention that they have devoted to their puppies’ breeding and upbringing.

For more information visit www.puppycontract.org.uk

Find out more information about how to care for you dog and more information on buying a puppy.

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