The event demonstrated the added value of an EU Positive List framework and showcased the important scale and severe harms of the trade in wild animals kept as pets: from animal welfare atrocities, to health and safety risks, to biodiversity loss.
The Positive List is a list of species that are permitted to be traded and/or kept in households. Several Member States have already adopted it, however, we need harmonised rules across the EU to efficiently address issues and concerns arising from the pet trade, including distortions in the internal market.
The European Commission (EC), under the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking is working on a study of the added value and feasibility of an EU positive list. During the event, Pascal Durand MEP (S&D, France) called for the EC to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study and emphasised the political support from both the Council and the European Parliament.
The keynote speech from David van Gennep, Executive Director at AAP, provided the point of view of rescue centres, which deal with a myriad of abandoned wild animals previously kept as pets. The white paper was introduced by Nick Clark, Wildlife Programme Leader at Eurogroup for Animals.
The white paper demonstrates the problems that result from the current EU pet trade, provides explanations on the current legislation and also provides a legal basis and proposal for an EU Positive List. It includes novel research from Sapience and insights from a legal opinion from FratiniVergano.
Manuela Ripa MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany) closed the meeting recalling that an EU Positive List is legally feasible and highly valuable, and highlighted that the feasibility study must include all animals, both taken from the wild and bred in captivity.