At its annual fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference today, keynote speaker Marina Yannakoudakis MEP addressed over 100 delegates on the importance of microchipping in order to protect human and animal health as well as to address the current abandoned horses crisis.

Marina, who was one of the lead negotiators on the revision of the EU’s regulation on the non-commercial movement of pet animals, told the meeting that identification and traceability are the best forms of vigilance to prevent against animal-borne diseases entering the UK.

She told the meeting: “We’ve come a long way since animals travelling
to the UK had to spend six months in quarantine.

“The rules need to balance the freedom for pets to travel abroad against protecting animal and human health and I am pleased to have introduced measures which will increase vigilance under the new regulation.”

She also said that microchipping is a way of stemming the rise in the number of abandoned horses: “The horsemeat scandal has also revealed loopholes in the passport system for horses.

“Only when all horses not only have a passport but also a microchip will we be able to conduct proper identification.

“This is the best way to reduce the problem of abandonment and to improve the welfare of horses.”

She also addressed the illegal puppy trade as well as the poor treatment of cats and dogs in Eastern European countries.

“I was lucky enough to be the first MEP to officially visit Battersea Cats’ and Dogs’ Home earlier this year.

“I would like Battersea and other British animal shelters to be ambassadors for the rescue and re-homing of strays across Europe.

“We need to close the loophole on importing very young puppies commercially and address the illegal import of puppies from countries where rabies is a high risk, most notably Eastern Europe.

“This is not only to protect both human health as well as the health of our native animals. We must ensure that puppies destined for the UK are transported humanely.”

Tagged with: