Brussels, 28 September 2022: At a Pet Alliance Europe event at the Résidence Palace in Brussels, MEPs joined animal welfare organisations, assistance animal associations, pet parents and their pets to celebrate #PetPower in the EU. Ahead of World Animal Day, attendees focused on the needs of assistance animals and called for the development of clear European standards.
Hosted by Pet Alliance Europe founders AnimalhealthEurope and FEDIAF EuropeanPetFood, this was the first ‘live’ #PetPower event and was attended by over 100 guests and 22 dogs. United in their support for raising the human-animal bond on the EU agenda, guests discussed the importance of assistance animals and the growing demand for their support in European society. The important message to take forward is the need to build on existing best practice by creating industry-wide standards with support of the EU policy makers.
Guest speaker, the Chief Executive of Dogs For Good, Peter Gorbing, explained: “Assistance dogs are a lifeline and demand is currently outstripping supply. As more people recognise the importance of these highly trained animals, the need for consistent, industry-wide welfare standards becomes increasingly important. This is to ensure that people benefit from dogs that are properly raised and cared for, and that are fit for purpose. We must create a stronger assistance dog sector across Europe in order to ensure high quality dog welfare.”
Roxane Feller, Secretary General of AnimalhealthEurope confirmed: “Financial pressures may be growing across all sectors and all walks of life, but this does not mean we can afford to stall on animal welfare standards. At our event we heard from Dogs For Good and were also joined by other animal therapy organisations such as Fondation I See, DYADIS who train assistance dogs, the FYDO team, which enables assistance dogs to support victims of crime and also pet therapy hospital volunteers from Villa Samson.We really hope that by shining the spotlight on the exemplary work of assistance animals, we will activate discussion and bring the topic to the EU agenda in order to develop harmonised guidelines for all kinds of assistance, therapy or emotional support animals.”
Rosa Carbonell, President of FEDIAF EuropeanPetFood added: “It was an honour to welcome guests at the Résidence Palace and we are delighted that Pet Alliance Europe has secured such a loyal following for its #PetPower campaign since its launch in 2020. Working alongside AnimalhealthEurope, we are stronger in communicating the many benefits of the human animal bond. We fully support the work of assistance animals who are such a great source of comfort and a wonderful example of #PetPower.”
The European animal health and pet food industry associations, AnimalhealthEurope and FEDIAF EuropeanPetFood, developed the term #PetPower when the associations came together in 2020 as Pet Alliance Europe to bring this topic to the EU agenda. It refers collectively to animal-assisted interventions, service animal offerings and the general human-animal bond. The associations hope that by bringing welfare projects to the attention of EU decision-makers, the wide-ranging benefits can be considered for policy development. Visit https://pet-power.eu/ for more information.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information on the organisations who attended our event, please visit:
At the event, Pet Alliance Europe held a competition to pick cutest pet in the Brussels bubble. For more information on entries and winners please visit www.pet-power.eu.
AnimalhealthEurope represents companies that research, develop and manufacture veterinary medicines in Europe. Representing innovators and generics alike, as well as large, medium-sized and small companies, AnimalhealthEurope’s membership covers 90% of the European market for veterinary products.
FEDIAF EuropeanPetFood represents the pet food industry in Europe. While we work sustainably every day to provide safe products that benefit pets, our work goes beyond pets, and goes beyond pet food. Our work is also about society. Because we believe that pet ownership has the potential to enhance the lives of all Europeans.