Animal health monitoring and tracking technologies positioned positively in Animal Welfare proposals

As the European Commission published two elements of the EU Animal Welfare legislation today, AnimalhealthEurope welcomes the move to take into account not just scientific updates, but also the development of new tools and technologies to support animal welfare.

As the Fitness Check prior to the revision showed, EU rules on the protection of animals during transport in particular have proven difficult to enforce. AnimalhealthEurope welcomes the update in the proposal to include the use of smart technologies with real-time tracking positioning systems and digital monitoring applications for greater transparency on farm animal welfare during transport. We also welcome the more precise provisions for the transport of cats and dogs involved in commercial practices.  

Alongside these transport precisions, we welcome the publication of the proposal for the welfare and traceability of dogs and cats, which for the first time outlines uniform EU standards for the breeding, housing and handling of dogs and cats in breeding establishments, pet shops, and shelters. The traceability of dogs and cats will also be reinforced through mandatory identification and registration in national databases to fight illegal trade and better control animal welfare conditions in the establishments.

AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General Roxane Feller commented:
“Although both proposals published present a solid basis, details as to how the use of digital monitoring and tracking technologies can support the various objectives of the legislation remain rather vague. We look forward to providing input as needed on how technological developments in the animal health sector can support better farm animal welfare.

We are pleased to see that the cats and dogs welfare part of the legislation has been given such priority for publication, especially given the soaring illegal trade in dogs and cats in Europe. This is not only a huge concern for animal welfare, but unregulated relocation of dogs and cats has led to an increase in the presence of parasites and diseases that had previously been under control or not present in EU member states. We remain committed to providing the necessary technologies to support identification, tracking and tracing, as well as the essential tools for pet healthcare.”