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New EU Campaign to Protect Cat Welfare

01 October 2015

UK - The UK’s leading cat charity is backing a European campaign which will improve feline welfare across the EU by unifying pet microchip databases, making it easier to determine where an animal has come from.

Eurogroup for Animals has launched its Protect Our Pets initiative to tackle the illegal pet trade and online sales. Eurogroup for Animals is recognised by the European parliament as the leading body representing animal welfare issues in Europe.

The campaign calls for a harmonisation of pet microchipping databases across the EU to make cross-border movement of cats and other animals more transparent and safer by making it easier to trace owners' details.

One of over 40 Eurogroup animal welfare member organisations from across Europe, Cats Protection welcomed the new campaign.

Cats Protection’s Chief Executive Peter Hepburn said: “We would welcome the harmonisation of microchip databases across the EU. We frequently see cats coming in from other EU countries with microchips which are incredibly difficult to read and interpret. A much clearer, uniformed approach is desperately needed. Whether a cat moves country legally or illegally, or even by accident after climbing into a vehicle, it is essential that the country of origin and the owner of the cat can be traced.”

He added that microchipping was already a big priority for the charity, with the EU campaign coming just months after Cats Protection launched its Manifesto for Cats, a ten-point document calling for a string of measures to improve feline welfare, including the compulsory microchipping of cats in the UK.

The Protect Our Pets campaign urges members of the public to call for pets across Europe to be properly identified and registered, and therefore linked to an owner.

They can do this by visiting the dedicated website www.protectourpets.eu and filling in an online form which will send a letter to their Member of the European Parliament.

The letter asks their MEP to support the forthcoming Motion for a Resolution by Renate Sommer MEP asking the European Commission to mandate the introduction of harmonised national systems for the identification and registration of pets in each Member State, based on the system which has been adopted for equines.

It also urges the MEP to write to Commissioner Andriukaitis, the Commissioner in charge of Animal Welfare, calling for the harmonisation of identification and registration (microchip) requirements for pets across the EU.

An information video about the Protect Our Pets campaign can be viewed at www.protectourpets.eu/protectourpets-take-action/

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