Dogs and cats are the most popular companion animals in the European Union and many of the people consider them as part of the family.
According to a survey report conducted by the European Commission, most EU citizens care about the well-being of their furry friends.
As per the public opinion survey result, about 74% of people in the EU believe that companion animals should be better protected.
The Commission reported that many pets are traded illegally across the EU generating high profit at a low risk, often providing a profitable source of income for criminal networks.
To clamp down on the illegal trade in pets, the environment and Public Health committee called for an EU-wide action plan, tougher sanctions and mandatory registration in a resolution adopted on 21 January, the Commission stated.
Trafficking can lead to poor breeding conditions, puppies and kittens being separated from their mothers too early and long journeys under stressful conditions, often without food and water, the Commission opined.
It can also pose risks to public health as illegally bred pets are often not vaccinated and can spread rabies, parasites and infectious diseases to humans and livestock, said the Commission.
Consumers attracted by low prices often buy companion animals online without being aware of the risks associated, it said.
The EU Parliament called for a compatible EU system of pet registration in a resolution adopted in 2016.
The resolution adopted on 21 January call on the European Commission to come up with a proposal for an EU-wide mandatory system for the identification and registration of cats and dogs, more controls and tougher sanctions against those supplying false pet passports.
It also calls for a common EU definition of puppy and kitten farms , as differences in animal welfare standards lead to price differences that can be exploited by illegal breeders.
The commission stated that EU breeding rules for pets are needed while EU countries should be encouraged to put in place registers of authorized breeders and sellers.
It further said that people should be encourage to adopt, rather than buy, companion animals.
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