Day: September 12, 2022

Netherlands: Dutch veterinarians and animal welfare organisations call for emergency action: Don’t buy a flat-faced dog.


Dutch veterinarians and animal welfare organisations call for emergency action: Don’t buy a flat-faced dog

5 September 2022

Act 4 Pets

Flat-faced dog breeds, such as the pug and the French bulldog, have been overbred to such an extent that they face lifelong suffering caused by a myriad of physical and genetic conditions. Many of these animals are chronically short of breath, suffer from eye diseases, inflammation of the skin, and hernias. Often their owners have been ill-informed and are presented with unexpected high bills for medical treatments. Veterinarians and animal welfare organisation warn in the strongest terms: don’t buy a flat-faced dog!

For a number of weeks, in large cities and along highways, posters are being placed with the slogan: A flat-face is a disgrace (platte neus zieke keus) and A flat-face comes at a price (een korte snuit komt met een prijs). The campaign will be posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well, in order to reach as many people as possible, urging them to not buy these dogs.

Veterinarians still see many disformed animals

Flat-faced dogs are very popular, but in The Netherlands it is prohibited by law to breed these dogs. However, the trade and the import are still legal.

It is fantastic that in The Netherlands there is a law against the breeding of these deformed animals. Unfortunately, in our practice we still see many snoring puppies struggling to breathe as a result of blocked nostrils and flattened noses. These puppies are from abroad or have been illegally bred in The Netherlands.

Veterinarians Janneke Moedt, Caring Vets

A flat-face comes at a price

Owners of flat-faced dogs are often shocked by the immense costs of medical treatments. 

The purchase price of a flat-faced dog is in the range of about 1,500 to 2,500 euros. Often the new owner is unaware of the various operations the dog requires, such as operations on the air ways, treatment of hernias, operation on the eyes, corrections of the nose fold, and so on. The costs can quickly add up to about four times the purchase costs. The biggest price though is paid by the animal – with a lifetime of suffering!

Kelly Kessen, Veterinarian, Dier&Recht

Stop the suffering of these dogs and join the campaign

Veterinarians, animal clinics, grooming salons, dog schools, and other organisations who wish to support the campaign can sign up on the campaign website, and receive an information package for the waiting room, or a door/window poster for a shop or practice.

This campaign is an initiative of animal welfare organisations and veterinarians: the Sophia-VereenigingDier&RechtCaring VetsDierenLot, and the cluster companion animals of the professional association of veterinarians.

Regards Mark

EU: Progress on an EU Positive List: ENVI Committee adopts CITES Regulation.


Progress on an EU Positive List: ENVI Committee adopts CITES Regulation

9 September 2022

8 September saw a vote on a draft motion for resolution on “Key objectives to the CITES CoP19 meeting in Panama”. CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The draft motion was adopted by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety with a strong majority. The final motion is now to be voted upon and adopted at the October Plenary session, and will hopefully send a strong message to the Commission, which acts as the CITES Management Authority for the EU to support decisions at the Cop19 to strengthen protection to endangered animals.

Critically, the Committee pushes for the much awaited revision of the Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking to be ambitious and published without delay, and should have adequate resources to ensure its full implementation.

Of particular interest, the motion highlights the concern that the market for exotic pets and the range of affected species are growing both within the EU and internationally, a call for a science-based EU-wide positive list of animals allowed as pets was included in the adoption draft. This means that we are one step closer to the Parliament showing support for better regulation of the pet trade under appropriate welfare conditions, without harm to populations in the wild and to European biodiversity. Additionally, the draft motion stresses the need for a Commission study to facilitate the adoption of this list which shall be based, amongst others, on existing experiences of Member States and lessons learned.  

There were a number of encouraging amendments voted on which reiterated Parliament’s call for the full and immediate ban at European level of commercial trade, export or re-export within the EU and to destinations outside the EU of ivory, including ‘pre-convention’ ivory. In addition it emphasises the important role that CITES should play in preventing future pandemics as the international wildlife trade regulator and calls for better funding and implementation of CITES Decisions. Regarding species, the draft motion calls on EU Member States to support proposals to CoP19 to list or uplist species that are put forward or supported by range countries. This would increase their protection against overexploitation through trade. 

Eurogroup for Animals is also pleased to see that the motion urges the EU to promote and support initiatives to significantly increase wildlife rescue and rehabilitation capacity through resources, funding, training and importantly establishment of a network of responsible and accredited rescue facilities and sanctuaries and national action plans for the management of confiscated live animals.

The next stage is to ensure that this strong draft motion is adopted in Plenary by the European Parliament, to ensure the European position at the CITES is good for the welfare and conservation of animals.

Regards Mark

South America: Civil Society Organisations from South America call on the European Commission to include animal welfare as a key component of the EU-Mercosur agreement.


Civil Society Organisations from South America call on the European Commission to include animal welfare as a key component of the EU-Mercosur agreement

12 September 2022

On 9 September, 65 civil society organisations from South America sent a joint letter to Executive Vice President of the European Commission V. Dombrovskis and to European Commissioner S. Kyriakides explaining why the EU-Mercosur trade agreement as it stands is a bad deal for animals and the planet.

In the wake of the war in Ukraine, and with the possibilities of a new government in Brazil after the elections to be held next month, the ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement has reappeared on the EU’s political agenda. Following strong pressure from civil society, several Member States – like Austria, France, Belgium and Luxembourg – and from the European Parliament, the process has been on hold since July 2020. Yet, the European Commission is now rushing into technical talks with Mercosur countries to possibly wrap up the discussions about a potential additional protocol to the agreement. 

In this political context, a coalition of South American Civil Society Organisations sent a letter to the European Commission listing proposals made during an event held on 29 April in Brazil and supported by Eurogroup for Animals. During the event experts representing environment, human rights and animal welfare organisations unanimously found that improving animal welfare standards in the Mercosur countries will effectively contribute to fight deforestation, the spread of zoonoses and the surge in antimicrobial resistance. 

Now, the coalition of South American Civil Society Organisations is calling on political leaders from the EU to consider their suggestions.

Measures to promote animal welfare, sanitary improvements and transparency in the farmed animals industry in Mercosur countries will have a profound impact on fighting climate change. We are open to presenting these measures in detail to the European Commission to help them prevent a catastrophe

Carla Lettieri, Animal Equality Brazil

Indeed, the EU-Mercosur agreement, if implemented as it stands, will fuel the animal farming industry, which is one of the key sectors responsible for the above mentioned challenges. The letter highlights the urgent need to include animal welfare as a key component of any trade agreement as it affects human and animal wellbeing.

The EU-Mercosur agreement will lead to an increase and an intensification of livestock farming in Mercosur countries at a time where this sector is already driving deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss. At times where the EU promotes the Green Deal, such an agreement should in no way impede the improvement of animal welfare, rather it should encourage it.

Reineke Hameleers, Eurogroup for Animals CEO

Regards Mark