Netherlands to use mandatory dog passports in fight against illegal trade
From 2020 all new dogs in the Netherlands must get a passport, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced on Thursday. The government hopes that this will help in the fight against illegal animal trade. Animal welfare and taking good care of animals is "everyone's moral duty", the Minister wrote in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
Currently a passport is only mandatory for dogs if their owners want to take them abroad. But from 2020 passports will be mandatory for all newborn puppies and imported dogs. The measure is aimed at tracking down breeders and importers who do not arrange passports for their animals. They will be fined.
The passport will contain information about the origin of the dog, its medical information and its previous owners. "Someone who buys a puppy should know exactly where the animal comes from. The passport helps with that."
There are already different registration systems for dogs, but according to the Minister, these are not good enough. "The registration really needs to be improved", she said. The system will therefore be converted into something more efficient. "That is a major operation that takes time, so the measure can only start in 2020."
According to newspaper AD, some 150 thousand dogs are purchased in the Netherlands each year, of which around 50 thousand come from abroad.
Another animal welfare related measure announced on Thursday is that the government plans to ban people convicted of animal cruelty from owning pets for up to ten years.