EU: PETITION – Reject the proposal contained in the draft of the ‘EU Animal Health Law’ that defines stray domestic animals as “wild animals”


strays petition photo


Reject the proposal contained in the draft of the ‘EU Animal Health Law’ that defines stray domestic animals as “wild animals”


Petition Link

Petitioning President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz and 38 others

This petition will be delivered to:

President of the European Parliament

Martin Schulz

First Vice-President of the European Commission

Frans Timmermans

President of the European Commission

Jean-Claude Juncker

Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development

Phil Hogan

President of the European Council

Donald Tusk


Marit Paulsen

Member of the European Parliament

Michela Guiffrida

President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals

Janusz Wojciechowski

Minister of Agriculture – Austria

Andrä Rupprechter

Minister of Agriculture – Belgium – Flanders

Joke Schauvliege

Minister of Agriculture – Belgium – Wallonia

Willy Borsus

Minister of Agriculture – Bulgaria

Desislava Taneva

Minister of Agriculture – Croatia

Tihomir Jakovina

Minister of Agriculture – Cyprus

Nicos Kouyialis

Minister of Agriculture – Czech Republic

Marian Jurečka

Minister of Agriculture – Denmark

Dan Jørgensen

Minister of Agriculture – Estonia

Ivari Padar

Minister of Agriculture – Finland

Petteri Orpo

Minister of Agriculture – France

Stéphane Le Foll

Minister of Agriculture – Germany

Christian Schmidt

Minister of Agriculture – Greece

Karasmanis A. Georgios

Minister of Agriculture – Hungary

Sándor Fazekas

Ministers of Agriculture – Ireland

Simon Coveney and Tom Hayes

Minister of Agriculture – Italy

Maurizio Martina

Minister of Agriculture – Lithuania

Virginija Baltraitienė

Minister of Agriculture – Luxembourg

Fernand Etgen

Minister of Agriculture – Netherlands

Sharon Dijskma

Minister of Agriculture – Poland

Marek Sawicki

Minister of Agriculture – Portugal

Assunção Cristas

Minister of Agriculture – Romania

Daniel Constantin

Minister of Agriculture – Slovakia

Ľubomír Jahnátek

Minister of Agriculture – Slovenia

Dejan Židan

Minister of Agriculture – Spain

Isabel Garcia Tejerina

Minister of Agriculture – Sweden

Sven-Erik Bucht

Head of DEFRA

Elizabeth Truss

Companion Animal Project Leader, Eurogroup for Animals

Joe Moran

Eurogroup for Animals

Mr Andreas Erler

Health Commissioner

Vytanis Andriukaitis

Member of the European Parliament

Herbert Dorfmann

Reject the proposal contained in the draft of the ‘EU Animal Health Law’ that defines stray domestic animals as “wild animals”


Luxembourg, Luxembourg

This petition is a joint action by Occupy for Animals and Rescue Association Hobo Dogs Finland, started on 21st of December, 2014. The petition was submitted for official registration to the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions by Occupy for Animals on the same date.

All information about this important petition is compiled on a dedicated website, at:


Up to now, the Commission made a substantial difference between wild animals and kept animals. Unfortunately, this could now change with the introduction of the new ‘EU Animal Health Law’ which is currently being discussed in its final stage.

For the last three years, the European Commission has been drafting an Animal Health Law, which is supposed to replace and encompass most of the present EU legislation on animal health, striving for simplification and greater consistency under common principles and general rules, and under the initial draft of the ‘EU Animal Health Law’, stray domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, should have been considered ‘wild animals’.

It seemed as if, due to the voting of the MEPs in April 2014, this had been avoided and they would no longer fall under the scope of ‘wild animals’ but would be defined under a new category of ‘non-owned animals of domesticated species’. It is crucial not to let abandoned and non-owned animals fall under the category of ‘wild animals’ in order to avoid a massive eradication of them. Dogs and cats must always be considered as domestic animals, even if they are no longer under direct human control.

Unfortunately, in December 2014, FOUR PAWS European Policy Office in Brussels, reported that the proposal is presently being discussed in the last stage of the legislative process conducted through the Trialogue (which includes European Council, Commission and Parliament), and that in the present draft of the ‘EU Animal Health Law’, an opposing trend has become apparent which might now even determine the decrease of protection: the proposal tabled by the European Commission wants to consider stray domestic animals again as wild animals, despite the fact that a majority of MEPs voted against this definition in April 2014.

According to FOUR PAWS, this is happening without publicity, in the attempt to get this unacceptable definition passed without attracting criticism as it would deliberately ignore the constant requests of EU citizens to increase the level of protection granted to all animals, not to decrease it.

It is extremely important that European citizens, and compassionate people from all over the world, speak up against this  ‘two-class system’ for dogs and cats, depending if they have a family or not.

This classification is not only ridiculous, but it could lead to confusion in legal terms – to serious misunderstandings and legal uncertainty in all Member States – and be downright dangerous not only for homeless dogs and cats, but also for owned animal companions that might have got lost, or have escaped.

All in all, such an illogical distinction is scientifically wrong as it ignores the fundamental biological distinction between wild and domestic animals, and poses a serious threat to homeless animals as it would stigmatize them as ‘second class animals’. It would decrease their level of protection, ignoring the will of the European citizens who are calling for a BETTER protection of ALL animals, and it would indeed mean a major step back for the European animal welfare.

Please don’t let this happen!

Please speak up for Europe’s homeless animals by signing our registered petition and please ask your family and friends to sign it, too.  

Thank you very much, in advance.

Pia Berrend / Founder & Campaign Manager at Occupy for Animals!
Taija Jolanki / Rescue Association Hobo Dogs



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