MEPs BACK the introduction of mandatory identification and registration of dogs and cats in Europe

FOUR PAWS welcomes this important step towards the greater traceability of companion animals in Europe


Today, by a clear majority, a Joint Motion for a Resolution on the introduction of compatible systems for the registration of pet animals across Member States was passed by the EU Parliament, during its Brussels plenary session. The motion for a resolution urges in particular the EU Commission to use the opportunity given by the Animal Health Law to introduce a delegated act on the identification and registration of dogs and cats. The motion was initially introduced by MEPs Renate Sommer and Julie Girling and was debated in Strasbourg two weeks ago. During this debate, EU Commissioner Corina Crețu revealed that the EU Commission was prepared to start preparatory work, including expert consultations for the adoption of possible delegated acts on the identification and registration of companion animals if there is a need for such an act. Later, the other political groups introduced similar Motions for a Resolution and all these texts were joined on 23rd February in a Joint Resolution which was voted on today, showing the need for such a delegated act. 

Since 2010 and the establishment of an EU Canine and Feline Traceability Expert Group in the frame of the CAROdog ( and CAROcat ( projects, VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS has called for the EU mandatory identification and registration of all dogs and cats in Europe through compatible databases to reach the goal of responsible ownership, in line with Art. 13 TFEU.

"We highly welcome today’s vote as a decisive step for improvements in animal welfare for companion animals in Europe, better animal health and increased consumer protection. Implementation of a compulsory Identification and Registration system of pets in the EU will also slow down the number of companion animals abandoned each year by increasing the responsible ownership of dogs and cats."

Pierre Sultana, Director of the VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS European Policy Office 

Furthermore, it is noted that the illegal trade in pet animals is estimated to be the third most profitable illegal trade in the EU after narcotics and weapons. By increasing traceability, we increase the chance to tackle the sourcing of money used for illegal activities and ensure these animals do not enter black markets.

Please find the Joint Motion here:

To find out more about the Plenary debate of 9th February, please read our press release here:

Please read more on the work of the EU Canine and Feline Traceability Experts Group 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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