The Members of the European Parliament expressed concern about the growing problem of fraud in on-line sales of animals as pets, mainly puppies and kittens, but also exotic spices. An independent investigation showed 600% growth of the puppies sales from Eastern Europe – Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, to the UK, and the other West European member-states. The drastic increase of sales is explained by abuse of the EU travel with your pet regulation, initially aimed to improve the pet-owners situation.
The investigation showed fraudulent activities around the animal sales, staring with degrading conditions of breeding in Lithuania, as the main supplier of puppies to the UK, to false documentation ensured by vets, transportation tormenting conditions during transportation up to 10-12 hours without water, and food.
As a result consumers too often get sick animal, or an animal with degenerative diseases, caused by intensive breeding, aimed at earing 100 000 a year.
The MEPs considered the French model of an obligatory licensing of the breeders online as a necessary step to protect consumers and animals from abuse and fraud in acquiring companion animals. The other proposal to quell the ongoing fraude in pet-trade is to prohibit to transport puppies under age of six month.
“The new EU Animal Health Regulation provides in its delegated acts several instruments that can help to regulate the sale of pets,” – said Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP , addressing the monthly meeting of the Animal welfare intergroup, 6.04.2017 – the biggest (107 MEPs), and the fastest-growing congregation of Members of the European Parliament.
“Moreover this legislation foresees that breeders and sellers have to be registered but it doesn’t specify how. The Commission should utilise its powers in this area to ensure that these provisions are used to its maximum effect”.
In this context MEP Pietikäinen welcomed the calls of Four Paws’ “Pet Deception campaign” and suggested that the Intergroup should send a letter to the Commission in support of the request of licensing all breeder and seller establishments, and to set up a publically accessible database on this.