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Ban on trade in cat and dog fur

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Ban on trade in cat and dog fur

The European Union (EU) introduced a ban, effective as of 31 December 2008, on trade in cat and dog fur and products containing such fur.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 1523/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 banning the placing on the market and the import to, or export from, the Community of cat and dog fur, and products containing such fur.

SUMMARY

The Regulation bans the placing on the market and the import to or export from the European Union (EU) of cat and dog fur and products containing such fur.

The ban may exceptionally be subject to derogations by the Commission, for educational or taxidermy purposes.

By 31 December 2008, the Member States had to inform the Commission of the analytical methods they use to identify the species of origin of fur (e.g. MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry). The Commission may adopt measures establishing analytical methods to be used in this sphere.

By 31 December 2008, the Member States had to lay down appropriate penalties to ensure that the ban is complied with and notify those provisions to the Commission.

By 31 December 2010, the Commission had to report on the application of the Regulation.

Background

The Treaty does not allow the Community to legislate on the basis of ethical concerns. That is why the proposal is based on the possibility, confirmed by consistent Court of Justice case-law, of adopting measures aimed at preventing obstacles that may affect the functioning of the Internal Market, in this case in the fur trade sector.

Several Member States had in fact already taken measures to restrict trade in cat and dog fur on their territory, forcing professionals in this sector to comply with different obligations depending on the country.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1523/2007

16.1.2008

-

OJ L 343, 27.12.2007

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 23 January 2006 on a Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010 [ COM(2006) 13 final – Official Journal C 49 of 28.2.2006].

For the period 2006-2010, the European Union (EU) planned general measures aimed at ensuring animal welfare and protection. The measures focus on improving standards, developing research and indicators, informing professionals and consumers and taking action at international level.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Regulation (EC) No 1523/2007 banning the placing on the market, and the import to, or export from, the Community of cat and dog fur, and products containing such fur. [ COM(2013)412 final of 13.6.2013].

The report describes the enforcement measures put in place by the Member States to apply the Regulation, as well as an overview on the methods of analysis used by the Member States to identify the species of origin of fur and on the penalties applicable in case of infringements. It covers the years 2009 and 2010.

The report's adoption was delayed due to the need for the Member States to collect enough information on the implementation of the ban. Some data were received only at the beginning of 2012, allowing a full analysis to be undertaken only during 2012.

The main points of the report are as follows: Member States set up a system of controls in order to implement the ban. They mainly integrated checks for the ban in their existing systems of controls by:

  • modifying national legislations in order to repeal previous national measures prohibiting cat and dog fur and to introduce penalties;
  • designating the competent authorities and officials responsible;
  • designating the methods of analysis and laboratories performing them in order to identify whether the fur comes from a domestic dog or cat in case of suspicion;
  • drawing up procedures and training officials performing the controls; and
  • disseminating information to business operators and the general public.

Overall, the report concludes that the Regulation had a positive impact: it simplifies the work of business operators since it has replaced several national bans applied with different procedures. In addition, the ban has contributed to limiting the risk of European consumers being exposed to buying cat and dog fur or products containing such fur.

Last updated: 11.02.2014

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