The UK’s biggest dog welfare charity has launched an EU alliance to protect dogs and cats amid concerns there is little EU legislation to protect the continent’s pets.

According to Dogs Trust, there are around 61 million owned dogs and 66 million owned cats in the European Union, and with cross border activity having what the charity calls a “huge impact” on human and animal health and welfare, consumer protection and the functioning of the internal market, the EU Dog and Cat Alliance has been formed to protect pets to combat what the charity calls “varying standards” in different EU countries.

Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust chief executive and founder of the International Companion Animal Welfare Conference (ICAWC) – where the alliance was launched this year in Istanbul – said: “We have been overwhelmed by such a positive response to the alliance and are thrilled to report we launched with 14 organisations already signed up as members.

“With a huge amount of interest generated from other European organisations at ICAWC, we look forward to welcoming further members on board. We hope the alliance will bring greater cohesion on commercial breeding, trade and movements across member states and promote better standards for all EU-based dogs and cats.”

Now in its 16th year, ICAWC, says Dogs Trust, provides a platform where hundreds of delegates working in animal welfare can network, exchange knowledge and gain support from their international contemporaries.

Thirty speakers from across the world presented on topics such as:

  • animal training and behaviour
  • neutering and population control
  • animal legislation
  • rehoming, and
  • assistance dogs.

Ms Baldwin said the charity was “delighted” with the “fantastic attendance” numbers to the conference this year.

“Over the past 16 years I have seen the conference grow not only in attendance numbers, but also in quality and content. It has been a privilege to be part of this annual event that sees delegates leaving with so many ideas, and inspired to put their learnings into practice to work towards improvements in animal welfare standards in their various countries.”

To find out more about the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and its work, visit its website.

Alternatively, to find out more about ICAWC, visit the conference’s website.

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