UK Government to review the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals

Minister for animal health and welfare Mr Elliott Morley announced in August 2001 that the government will review whether or not it should sign the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

The Council of Docked Breeds published the following Press Release the same week:

Legislation we neither need nor want

WITH GREAT concern we have learned of the Government's intention to undertake a formal review of whether or not the UK should accede to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

The Council of Docked Breeds has long warned of the dangers which this convention poses to our native dog breeds. and indeed the CDB was among the first to alert UK breeders and dog owners to it. We have little doubt that, were it to he fully implemented, many of our most loved breeds would be placed at risk, and some could disappear altogether.

There is no need for the implementation of this convention in Britain. While animal welfare in some Council of Europe member states certainly requires improvement, we in this country have a comprehensive body of legislation which ensures extremely high standards of welfare among companion animals. We also have a host of Governmental and non Governmental bodies to see that the law is properly enforced.

Nor does there appear to he any great body of support for the convention among dog-related organisations in the UK. Last year's consultation by the Royal College of Veterinary surgeons indicated the depth of concern which exists, and the protest which has followed more recent legislation in Germany should serve a warning to Ministers as to the opposition they can expect if they proceed to bring more European dog legislation to these shores.

The CDB has consistently opposed UK accession of the European Convention, and it will resolutely continue to do so. We urge all dog owners and breeders to write now to Elliott Morley indicating their concern over a piece of European legislation we neither need nor want.