Latvia Calls on the European Commission to Restrict the Import of Cats and Dogs for Sale from Russia and Belarus
Maris Balodis, the Director-General of the Latvian Food and Veterinary Service (PVD), intends to appeal to the European Commission for restrictions on the commercial import of cats and dogs from Russia and Belarus. This information was reported by the Delfi portal.
Recently, Latvia has seen a significant influx of cats and dogs from third countries into the European Union. Often, these imports come with irregularities in the accompanying documents, posing a risk to the animals' health and potentially contributing to the spread of rabies.
PVD has already increased its control over commercial shipments of dogs and cats at the EU's external borders. They conduct blood tests on the animals to verify their rabies vaccinations. The results have shown that in six out of fourteen cases, the levels of antibodies in the animals' blood were insufficient for effective rabies protection.
Most of these cases involved dogs with veterinary certificates from Belarus and passports from Russia. The buyers of these dogs are listed as individuals from various EU countries, as well as German animal shelters.
At the same time, the European Commission has gathered data on several instances where the addresses of the buyers, as indicated in the accompanying documents for the animals, turned out to be false or non-existent in countries such as Italy, Belgium, and France. This raises suspicions that the animals are actually being sent to entirely different countries. Latvia has prepared 15 reports on such violations since the beginning of the year.
From Russia and Belarus, over 1,000 cats and dogs are imported into various European countries every month through the Latvian border. However, Latvia itself has been the destination for only 38 animals during the first nine months of this year.
The Scientific Institute BIOR, the only laboratory in Latvia that conducts tests for rabies antibodies, regularly receives requests from EU countries to verify the authenticity of certificates supposedly issued by BIOR. All of these certificates are related to the import of dogs and cats from third countries, and most of them have been found to be counterfeit.
In other news, a restaurant in Lithuania has introduced a special menu for dogs, with prices for food and drinks on par with human prices. According to representatives of the Floros Simfonija restaurant, prices are determined by the cost of ingredients. The dog menu includes white and pink "wine" (non-alcoholic) for €8.50 per bottle, "beer" with chicken or mixed flavors for €5, and more expensive smoothies at €7.