EP OKs anti-animal trafficking measure

'A step forward for animal welfare' says Italian MEP

(ANSA) - Brussels, February 25 - The European Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution to combat illegal cat and dog trafficking, estimated to be the third most lucrative black market in the EU-28 after arms and drugs.
    The resolution by MEPs from the European People's Party (EPP) and the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) caucuses calls on the European Commission to ensure all member States share animal ID information by setting up an EU animal registry that would supersede existing national ones.
    "We took a step forward not only for animal welfare but also for public health," said MEP Giulia Moi from Italy's anti-establishment, anti-euro 5-Star Movement (M5S), who was the first signatory to the resolution on behalf of the euroskeptic EFDD caucus.
    "The latest data shows 70% of new human diseases are animal in origin," she pointed out.
    "We must fill a vacuum in current legislation in order to stop illegal animal trafficking," said German MEP Renate Sommer (EPP), who initiated the resolution.
    "The system still makes it too easy to falsify animal identities," she said. European families currently include 126 million pet dogs and cats, and illegally trafficked ones often suffer cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of criminal organizations - which often fail to vaccinate them and to keep them in sanitary conditions.