ICAWC 2013 - Eurogroup For Animals - Claire Calder


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ICAWC 2013 Barcelona, Spain - Claire Calder's presentation on Eurogroup for Animals

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ICAWC 2013 - Eurogroup For Animals - Claire Calder

  1. 1. Working to improve companion animal welfare across the EU Claire Calder Policy Officer for Companion Animals
  2. 2. About Eurogroup • The primary federation representing animal welfare organisations across the EU
  3. 3. About Eurogroup • Member organisations in almost all Member States • Primarily work for introduction, improvement & enforcement of EU laws & policies • Also work in other ways. For example, by influencing industry standards.
  4. 4. Background • Historically very little EU legislation to protect companion animal welfare • Member State legislation varies greatly • This results in varying standards of welfare
  5. 5. Background • 2010 Council Conclusions on the welfare of dogs and cats: • Study differences between Member States regarding the breeding of and EU trade in dogs and cats... • Study and propose...systems for identification and registration of dogs and cats...
  6. 6. Background • Study and present...a specific proposal to restrict...the exhibition at public events of dogs and cats having undergone a non-curative surgical intervention... • Develop...appropriate actions to promote and support education concerning responsible dog and cat ownership...
  7. 7. EU Animal Welfare Strategy 2012-2015 Includes dogs and cats! • A simplified EU legislative framework for animal welfare • Study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices
  8. 8. Animal Health Strategy 2007-2013 Ongoing: • An EU Animal Health Law – Will include provisions for dogs and cats
  9. 9. Eurogroup priorities • First strategic plan developed for dogs and cats, for 2013-2015 • Consultation with: • Advisory Board for companion animals • Member organisations
  10. 10. Eurogroup priorities Prioritised issues depending on: • Upcoming EU activities • Relevance across Member States • No. of animals affected • Severity and duration of suffering
  11. 11. Eurogroup priorities Priorities for 2013-2015: • Commercial breeding & trade • Selective breeding • Cross border movements
  12. 12. Commercial breeding and trade
  13. 13. Commercial breeding & trade • Breeders in the EU can range from hobby breeders to large scale breeding establishments • Traders can range from breeders selling directly from their home, to online traders, to traders at pet markets • Welfare issues can occur regardless of scale, at every step of the chain
  14. 14. Commercial breeding & trade Scientific research on dog breeding: • Commercial breeding establishments can produce puppies which are physically and behaviourally unsound • Non-domestic breeding environments can be associated with behaviour problems later in life • Breeding dogs from commercial breeding establishments can have higher rates of health and behaviour problems compared to pet dogs
  15. 15. Commercial breeding & trade Online sale: • Recent work by PAAG highlighted puppy being sold in exchange for a mobile phone and Golden Retriever wanted for swap with Chihuahua • New owner can’t see where their pet has been bred so likely to be unaware of the experiences their pet has had
  16. 16. Selective breeding
  17. 17. Selective breeding Welfare issues can be split into: • Exaggerated comformations • Inherited disorders Photo: arash_rk
  18. 18. Exaggerated conformations • Many dog and cat breeds have been bred to emphasise physical features • E.g. Short, flat faces, bulging or sunken eyes and wrinkled skin Photo: Poi Photography
  19. 19. Exaggerated conformations • Some features are so extreme they can cause pain and suffering, make animals prone to particular disorders or prevent them from behaving normally. Photo: Sunfox
  20. 20. Inherited disorders • Rules of dog and cat showing mean that different breeds have been bred separately for many years • One of the effects = lack of genetic diversity = increased risk of inherited disorders • Research has shown that every breed of dog that is well studied is prone to a range of diseases
  21. 21. Inherited disorders • Examples include cancer, blindness and epilepsy • Some inherited disorders may cause only minor suffering. Others can be extremely painful and last for a large part of an animal’s life. Photo: Will-travel
  22. 22. Cross border movements
  23. 23. Cross border movements Dogs and cats may be moved for: • Sale • Rehoming • Owner moving or going on holiday • Taking part in shows or events
  24. 24. Cross border movements • Diseases can be transferred between countries • Poses serious risk to animal and human health if effective preventative measures not taken • EU legislation to minimise risk of rabies spread, but other diseases also of concern. E.g. Leishmaniasis
  25. 25. Cross border movements The distribution of L. infantum infection in Europe Reference: Solano-Gallego et al. (2011)
  26. 26. Upcoming EU opportunities for dogs and cats
  27. 27. Animal Health Law • A single horizontal legal framework • Existing legislation will be simplified and replaced by this new framework • Will replace pet movement legislation • Vote in Committee expected early 2014
  28. 28. Animal Health Law Eurogroup is calling for: • Permanent identification and registration of dogs and cats • This should be on an appropriate database, linked to a database which is accessible across the EU
  29. 29. Animal Health Law 52 national databases across the EU already linked to Europetnet (www.europetnet.com)
  30. 30. Animal Health Law Eurogroup is also calling for: • Licensing of dog and cat breeders • Eurogroup producing guidelines for breeding of dogs and cats, which licensing conditions could be based on
  31. 31. European Commission Study • Will focus on issues associated with the breeding and trade of dogs and cats • Consumer protection • Internal market • Animal welfare • 1 year study • Reporting by late 2014
  32. 32. European Commission Study • 28/10/13: study launched at 1st European Commission conference on dogs and cats • Opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss the issues of breeding and trade
  33. 33. European Commission Study Outcome of conference and study will inform whether any EU action is taken • Conference: Eurogroup will present the perspective of our member organisations • Study: Eurogroup will engage with the Commission to share information
  34. 34. Animal Welfare Framework Law • Commission to perform a feasibility study on a simplified EU legislative Framework • ‘Animal welfare principles for all animals kept in the context of an economic activity, including where appropriate pet animals’ • Decision expected towards end of 2014
  35. 35. Animal Welfare Framework Law Eurogroup is calling for this to: • Implement the requirements of Article 13 of the Treaty for the functioning of the EU • Cover all categories of animals, including pet animals • Cover the welfare of animals during their entire life, including breeding, keeping, transport and euthanasia.
  36. 36. How you can help!
  37. 37. How you can help • Share information with us! • Breeding, trade and cross border movements • Data, case studies, reports, media articles… • Look out for Eurogroup’s manifestos and positions and engage with your MEPs
  38. 38. How you can help • Sign our pledge board!
  39. 39. Keep in touch Email: c.calder@eurogroupforanimals.org Twitter: @ClaireEG4A