International experts propose roadmap to the EU Commission to improvE the welfare of dogs and cats in the EU

Conference: ‘Identification, Vaccination and Movement of Dogs and Cats in the EU: How to Improve the Pet Passport and TRACES Systems?’


International animal welfare organisation VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), CAROdog, CAROcat, and the Representation of the German State of Hesse organised a two-day conference on the “identification, vaccination and movement of dogs and cats in the EU: How to improve the Pet Passport and TRACES systems”, including the launch of a new report on this topic.

International experts on animal welfare and health, Identification & Registration (I&R), and the international movements of pets, together with representatives of the European Parliament, EU Commission and EU Member States, convened to share information on the present situation of I&R across the EU, and formulate proposals aimed to improve both national and EU legislation.

The speakers emphasised the fact that despite the presence of some useful EU rules aimed at protecting companion animals, both in their country of origin and when travelling to other countries, more should be done.

It was also noted that the rules related to the Pet Passport, which was established in the EU in 2012, should be reformed in order to increase its effectiveness. At present, a pet passport is only required when travelling, while it has been suggested that all companion animals should have one from birth as a life-time document replacing national health and vaccination booklets, regardless of their movements.

Specific proposals were made also in relation to the characteristics of the transponders used for the identification of individual animals, which presently contain different sets of information in different Member States, while the information is not accessible through a European register. This makes both the prevention of criminal activities and the reunion of lost animals with their families more difficult.

Finally, the experts also discussed practical field examples on the transport of cats and dogs and agreed that there is a need for clarification and better recognition of the specificities of these animals within the transport Regulation 1/2005 and the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES).

The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the establishment of a harmonised EU-wide I&R system, but to no avail so far.

The speakers and members of the audience therefore asked the European Commission and the Members States to develop specific proposals, in order to address these issues, having in mind that solutions already exist at low cost and that most issues could be achieved by very simple means.

The conference was organised in relation to the launch of a report entitled ‘Identification, Vaccination and Movement of Dogs and Cats in Europe’, prepared by the European office of VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS, in collaboration with Dr Sven Hüther, Director of Planet ID and ISO expert for Germany.

The report is available online here: COVER and INSIDE

Presentations will be available soon on the VIER PFOTEN website:

Conference materials and pictures

Please find all documents and pictures related to the conference here.

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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