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European Union takes major step to protect cats and dogs

Subject: Press Release - European Union takes major step to protect cats and dogs

MEDIA INFORMATION

Brussels, 24 November 2010

European Union takes major step to protect cats and dogs

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the decision taken today by EU member state representatives to endorse Council Conclusions on the Welfare of Cats and Dogs proposed by the Belgian Presidency. This is a major step forward and will help to improve the welfare of companion animals in the European Union. It also ensures that the European Commission includes the welfare of companion animals in the development of the second EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals.

"The Conclusions adopted today are a first step in developing a harmonised approach across the EU for companion animals and we are extremely grateful to the Belgian Presidency for championing this cause and ensuring companion animals will be included in future EU animal welfare policy," said VĂ©ronique Schmit, Executive Officer Policy of Eurogroup for Animals.

"The Council recognises that there are major differences in animal welfare standards across EU member states and that there is a need for concerted action. The trade in companion animals varies considerably across the Union and the risk to human health through diseases carried by animals is not controlled effectively at present," she concluded.

Following the recognition of animals as sentient beings in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU must consider animal welfare when formulating or implementing relevant policies. This announcement addresses this requirement and responds to citizens' concerns that animal welfare must be improved in all aspects of European law.

The Conclusions are expected to be formally adopted at next week's Agriculture Council and Eurogroup for Animals will closely monitor this and ensure that the European Commission works diligently to put in place a second EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals that includes protective measures for companion animals.

- ENDS -

For more information, contact:

Martyn Griffiths,

Executive Officer Communications

Email: m.griffiths@eurogroupforanimals.org

Tel: +32 (0)2 740 08 29

Mobile: +32 (0)487 645 486

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