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Cats Protection welcomes Europe-wide campaign to Protect Our Pets

22 September 2015
Cats Protection welcomes Europe-wide campaign to Protect Our Pets

Tuesday 22 September 2015
  
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/

To find out more about Cats Protection’s Manifesto for Cats and its advocacy work visit www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/speaking-up-for-cats
 
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For more information or for a still image of the promotional video, please contact Michaela at Adastra Media by email on michaela@adastramedia.co.uk or call 07740 305918.
 
Notes to Editors:

1. Photo caption: Cats Protection Chief Executive, Peter Hepburn, launches the ‘Protect our Pets’ campaign in the European Parliament on behalf of animal charities across Europe to Vytenis Andriukaitis (Commissioner - Health & Food Safety) and Renate Sommer MEP.
2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 205,000 cats every year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
4. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
5. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
6. Eurogroup for Animals represents animal welfare organisations in all EU Member States. Since its launch in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. Eurogroup represents public opinion through its membership organisations across the Union, and has both the scientific and technical expertise to provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal welfare. For more information, visit www.eurogroupforanimals.org
7. All information on the campaign, the problem and the call to introduce a solution can be found here: www.protectourpets.eu