As someone has no doubt observed before, lawmakers sometimes propose pieces of legislation that don’t show much common sense. Occasionally this problem grows beyond all imagining, and the outcome would be hilarious… if it weren’t real.


One of the campaign postcards

One of the campaign postcards

Let’s talk about the Animal Health Law presently being discussed by the EU institutions. It’s a proposal that is supposed to replace and encompass most of the present EU legislation on animal health, striving for simplification and greater consistency under common principles and general rules.


It all sounds good, but any well-meaning lawmaking process can generate some monsters. In this case, the European Commission has proposed establishing in the future Animal Health Law that stray domestic animals are to be considered wild animals.


The consequences of this patently bizarre proposal would be truly dreadful for many European animals. So far, companion animals generally enjoy a higher level of protection than wild ones. If stray dogs were labelled as ‘wild’, it would be possible in some EU Member States – as some politicians have proposed in the past – to shoot them, because sadly hunting wild animals is still legal in all EU countries.


The EU Commission is acting very strangely in this context: in the framework of the elaboration of the draft text, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called for mandatory identification and registration of all dogs in Europe. This would be a fundamental tool to prevent not only health risks to humans and animals, but also abandonment and illegal trade in puppies – and therefore to protect dogs, and finally reduce canine overpopulation. This proposal has been rejected by the Commission, which instead seems very keen to get the definition of stray animals as ‘wild’ approved.


In an attempt to oppose this incredible proposal, the European Policy Office of VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS International has launched the campaign ‘Wild? Me?’. On its website you can download and print out postcards to send to the EU institutions, asking them to reject this unacceptable idea.


You can read an article on the present state of the debate and download the postcards on the VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS International website.





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