A new Eurobarometer survey released this week asked nearly 28,000 EU citizens from all 28 EU Member States about their views on animal welfare. The survey found that animal welfare is a very important issue for Europeans. Crucially, 74% of Europeans believe the welfare of companion animals should be better protected than it is now.

Dogs Trust welcomes the findings of this Eurobarometer and is calling on the European Commission to take action as a result. There are around 63 million owned dogs in the EU, and cross-border activities involving dogs can have a huge impact on human and animal health and welfare, consumer protection and the functioning of the internal market. Despite this, there is currently very little EU legislation to protect dog welfare. National standards can vary widely across the EU, with significant welfare issues arising as a result.

The findings of this Eurobarometer survey support our view that now is the time for EU action to protect companion animal welfare. We are calling for more robust EU-wide legislation including compulsory identification and registration of dogs on a database which is linked to an EU database, compulsory licensing of dog breeders and controls on the internet trade of dogs.