In 2019, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) received 849 reports of possible abuses in the breeding, trade and import of dogs and cats. What goes wrong and what dangers does that actually entail?
The majority of NVWA inspections take place after someone has reported a possible abuse. In addition, the organization conducts random surveys at animal shelters and at locations where animals are seized.
Reporting makes sense
The NVWA carried out an inspection of 118 commercial keepers of dogs or cats last year, always after a report. That such a report makes sense, is clear from the results: only 19 of these companies were all right. Indeed, the other 99 companies were found to have problems.
The NVWA encountered breeders who did not have the legally required certificate of professional competence. There were also violations in the area of identification and registration of the animals. And when importing dogs (and cats), the NVWA encountered many animals without a European passport, without a health certificate and / or without rabies vaccination. The inspectors also found many imported dogs that were younger than 15 weeks old.
Dog from abroad: rabies a real danger
In 2019, according to official figures, 31,022 dogs were imported from abroad. In some cases this concerns illegal import. Of the total 849 reports received by the NVWA, 13 percent of the cases involved illegal imports with a high risk of rabies (rabies). Rabies is transmitted to humans through a crab, bite or lick from an infected animal. The insidious thing is: an animal can also transmit rabies even though it has no symptoms of the virus yet. Rabies is very rare in the Netherlands, but 50,000 people die every year worldwide. Many of the dogs imported here come from countries such as Poland and Romania – countries where rabies is still common. The fear is therefore that the import of dogs and cats from these regions also means that rabies will reach our country more often.
Animal from abroad: the rules
- The animal has a European animal passport. This passport is only available from veterinarians
- The animal is chipped
- The animal has a valid rabies vaccination
- The animal is at least 15 weeks old. This requirement has to do with the rabies vaccination: it should only be given at the age of 12 weeks. After that, a waiting period of 21 days applies, only after that it is certain that the animal is healthy
- In the Netherlands, the dog must be registered with an official database within 14 days
On the NVWA website you will find a questionnaire for bringing a dog or cat from abroad.
Recognize the wrong breeder
If you would like to bring an animal into your home, make sure that you are well informed. On the website of the LICG (National Information Center for Companion Animals) you will find a lot of useful information, such as the checklist for puppy buyers. Be aware that there are plenty of good breeders, but there are also many breeders who are not concerned with the animals but with the euros. You can read how to recognize such breeders on the LICG website.
Consequences of malicious breeding
Animals that have to spend the first weeks of their lives in a shed often have health problems (such as fleas, ticks, intestinal infections). But that’s not all … Animals that grow up in a dirty environment, without people’s attention and sometimes even without daylight, often suffer from this for the rest of their lives. This manifests itself, for example, in unclean behavior, discord or annoying or sometimes even aggressive behavior in contact with other animals and / or people. Like any human, an animal needs a safe, clean and friendly environment to grow into a stable and friendly adult animal.