It is estimated that there are around 61 million owned dogs and 66 million owned cats in the European Union, but there is currently very little EU legislation to protect their welfare. National legislation can vary greatly, with some countries having strict legislation to protect dogs and cats and others having very little at all.
This means that whilst many dogs and cats in the EU are loved and cared for as members of the family, the way in which they are treated can vary greatly across Europe. A wide range of serious welfare issues can affect dogs and cats in the European Union and some of these can affect them for large parts of, or all of their lives. We are particularly concerned about issues such as irresponsible breeding, trade and movements across borders.