The figures speak for themselves. Trading in pets is a profitable business, European sales of cats and dogs amounts to €1.3Bn annually. It is calculated that 46,000 dogs are sold each month within the countries of the EU.
42% of the dog trade and 22% of the cat trade is illegal. According to a study carried out by the European Commission in 2012, there were 60 million dogs and 66 million cats as pets, a figure which is on the rise. At least 49.3% of Spanish homes has an animal at home, according to the Affinity Foundation 9 million are pets (dogs, cats).
Where do so many animals come from? The problem arises from three different places: pet shops, puppy farms (known as puppy mills) and private breeding (as has always been done). Each one of these points has its own problems for the animals and they way business is done.
In 2015 there were 525 legal breeders throughout Spain. To this figure we must add the thousands of animals which come from Puppy Mills –puppy farms from Eastern Europe– which are sold in pet shops.
Thanks to the connectivity which has come with the internet, illegal trade between private individuals has proliferated, largely due to the lack of control in advertising websites and on social networks.
The alternative is always the same: responsible adoption of animals. However, there are also other implications, sterilisation and the corresponding identification of the animals which live with us, the reporting of illegal activity to the authorities and the political advocacy which we carry out at FAADA, and whenever possible try to convince public administrations that they should take urgent efficient realistic measures to help animals.
We invite you to learn the truth about the trade in animals we call pets and to make a stand for their rights. At the end of the day both the person who buys an animal (ignorant of the process) and those who adopt strays end up with the same situation, pets are part of the family.