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Alliance calls on EU to tackle illegal pet trade
Dog and cat
Around 60 organisations from 20 member states attended the event.

Organisation proposes Action Plan for better legislation

An event was held by the EU Dog & Cat Alliance earlier this week to urge the EU to take action on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices.

Around 60 organisations from 20 member states attended the event, which proposed an EU Action Plan for more robust and better-implemented legislation.

The Alliance called for a compulsory database, compulsory licensing for breeders, tighter controls on the internet trade, and concrete action to prevent zoonoses and improve consumer protection.

Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust veterinary director and spokesperson for the EU Dog & Cat Alliance, explains: “Thousands of puppies and kittens bred for illegal sale in the EU endure horrendous breeding and transport conditions often resulting in severe, chronic health problems.

“The Alliance is calling for an EU Action Plan to tackle this illegal trade, with three main priorities: consumer protection, public and animal health, and animal welfare. All three are imperative to the protection of the internal market."

She added: "Compulsory database would be another vital tool which would facilitate the exchange of basic information such as the age of the animal, microchip number and country of origin to allow traceability. This would help prevent the suffering of these animals and address issues related to consumer protection."

Hosted by MEP Daniel Dalton, the event was based on the findings of the recently published study on the welfare of dogs and cats involved in commercial practices.

The study provides evidence as to why the breeding and trade of dogs and cats is crucial to companion animal welfare in Europe. It also highlights why legislation is paramount to public health, consumer protection and the EU internal market.

"The illegal importation of animals is a significant concern for many of the Member States, with nearly 1 in 5 of all EU households owning a dog and over a quarter a cat," said Mr. Dalton.

"It is clear EU citizens want action - a recent Eurobarometer, published in March, found 74 per cent of EU citizens believe companion animal welfare should be better protected."

He added: “In order to tackle this illegal trade it is imperative we have a comprehensive approach from the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament to collectively address this issue.” 

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at