Reference A: Welfare of animals during transport Consultation on the implementation of EU Regulation 1/2005 dated May 2006 sign now

Welfare in Transport Implementation Team
Animal Welfare Division
DEFRA
1A Page Street
London
SW 1P 4PQ


Dear Sirs

Reference A: Welfare of animals during transport Consultation on the implementation of EU Regulation 1/2005 dated May 2006

DEFRA have given interested groups an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations. We represent a group with a membership of 560+ cat breeders.

SECTION 2 GUIDANCE ON THE SCOPE OF EU REGULATION 1/2005. QUESTIONS ON SCOPE?

Q2 In particular, are there other exemptions that need to be highlighted in the guidance at paragraph 2.11

We suggest the following exemption is also added after the word police
Cat breeders/owners whose cats are registered with at least one recognised feline authority or registering body transporting one or more of their cats or kittens for any purpose including specialist shows."

The Case for the Exemption of Cat Breeders from the EU Directive 1/2005

EU Directive 1/2005 attempts to establish pet breeding as an Economic Activity. We are prepared to dispute this fact with specific regard to cats and cat breeders and put forward the following argument in support of this dispute.

Legislative Grounds

The first item is the HM Revenue & Customs Business Economic Notes 14 entitled The Pet Industry as supporting evidence.


Business Economic Notes 14 (notes issued for Inspector of Taxes) Section 1 Sub para 6 states:

Certain specific activities such as pet food and accessory retailing, boarding and commercial breeding, can be clearly seen as business ventures. Other activities associated with pets have possible income sources, but can be regarded, or at least, seen to a large extent, as the fruits of a successful hobby. By and large, in these cases expenditure will usually exceed income, with only the occasional revenue surplus or profit, for example, the successful breeding of a large litter.

Section 3 Sub Para Hobby or Business sub sub para 6 states:

Whether the activities amount to the carrying on of a trade profession or vocation so that the profits are assessable under Cases I or II of Schedule D or is merely a hobby, is a question that can only be determined on consideration of the relevant facts in individual cases.

EU Harmonisation

The second item is EU Harmonisation.
The proposed regulation should be adjusted to be in harmony with EU 998/2003 (PETS):
The new system considers commercial movements" to be for animals moving to another country to be sold while all other types of movement are "non-commercial". Therefore animals travelling to exhibitions etc would be considered a "non-commercial movement" and
covered by the rules.


Health & Welfare

All cats carried to shows in the UK, irrespective of organisation, must be carried in suitable containers and are accompanied by their owner or their owner's representative. Records of all entries are maintained which are signed as accurate by the owners. Most importantly, all cats and their vaccination documents are subject to veterinary inspection on arrival before entrance to the show is permitted. Isolation facilities and veterinary supervision are available throughout the day. Exhibitors who register with Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) cannot attend more than a maximum of 26 shows in a year most owners exhibit far less often than this.

Shows are competitive and social events rather than commercial. No animal trading takes place, and exhibitors are not allowed any form of advertisement on their pens (GCCF). It is better from a welfare angle for the breeds that entire cats do attend shows, where they are seen by vets and judges who check not only conformity to a Breed Standard, but specific health criteria e.g. males used for breeding purposes must have 2 testicles.

Economic

Section 5.3 of the proposed EU directive, allows the issue of Derogations by UK authorities on the grounds of:

the cost to those affected is disproportionate to the number and type of journeys undertaken (these may be sector specific in some areas).



The justifying evidence in support of this is as follows:

Cat Breeders operating under GCCF regulations can only show their cats at 13 day intervals. (Section 4, Rule 3b.) "No cat owned by me/us or living at the same address will be exhibited at or entered for any show or public exhibition held less than thirteen days prior to or following the date of this show/exhibition."

This means effectively cats registered at GCCF can only be shown a maximum of 26 days per year. Some breeders show on average 15 to 20 days per year. Others only travel to 2 5 shows per year. It could be argued then that cat breeders attending cat shows do so, on a very infrequent basis. the number of journeys.

Cat breeders operating under other associations may not face the same regulations as GCCF but even then there is not a great opportunity to exhibit, nor are the shows as frequent.

Fйdйration Internationale Fйline (FiFe) for example has only 8 shows listed between June and December 2006.
The International Cat Association (TICA) has only 5 shows listed on their web site being held in the UK between June and December 2006.

Cat breeders do not take their cats to the specialist shows to sell but to show and enjoy a day out...type of journey undertaken..

Conclusion

It is clear that the Inland Revenue have difficulty in determining that cat breeding per se is classed as an Economic Activity. Can this decision therefore be justifiably undermined by any other agency not directly involved in revenue determination without reference back to the original document?

EU 998/2003 also identifies the movement of cats, dogs and ferrets as being non-commercial.

The actual transportation of un-neutered and neutered cats to and from shows is not exactly what one could class as a regular occurrence. Further, the cats are taken to shows to do just that - show, nothing else. Also as responsible people, cat breeders do take exceptional care of their charges through a variety of means. At cat shows cats are examined by veterinary surgeons who are in the majority of cases, totally unfamiliar with the animals and therefore carry out full examinations on all exhibits presented before them. Cats travel in specially constructed containers. Cats have access to food and litter and bedding. Cats are handled by experts, their owners, vets, judges and stewards. Their welfare is paramount at all times.

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Rhoda MorseBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
DEFRA United Kingdom

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