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Dogs feature in European pet night

DOGS FIGURED strongly in last week’s European Pet Night 2007. A police dog and assistance dogs turned up to take their places on a stage in Brussels to demonstrate to MEPs and policy-makers the importance of healthy, happy animals in the European Union.

A broad variety of organisations representing the animal welfare and animal health sectors jointly organised European Pet Night 2007. MEPs Neil Parish (UK) and Paulo Casaca (PT), as current and former chair of the Parliamentary Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, hosted the reception.

Referring to the animals in attendance, Neil Parish said: "As chair of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals, I am delighted to see vivid examples of just how important animals can be for human well-being."

Paulo Casaca noted: "It is a positive sign that the European Commission, launched the Common Animal Health Strategy in September 2007. We now need to ensure that the political will is translated into concrete actions to improve the health and welfare of animals.

The success of Pet Night shows that citizens take a keen interest in animal health and welfare. So animals might not only be good for human health, they might also bring the European Union closer to its citizens."

Declan O'Brien, Managing Director of International Federation for Animal Health-Europe, (IFAH-Europe) representing the animal health industry expressed his satisfaction for the outcome of Pet Night:

"The success of this event highlights a keen interest of politicians, interest groups and citizens in the animal cause. Animals are important to society, so we should work together to protect their health and welfare."

European Pet Night is planned as an annual event to heighten public awareness on the complex issues surrounding animal welfare and allow politicians to have a genuine exchange of views with the animal health stakeholders.

The following associations co-organised European Pet Night 2007:

Assistance Dogs Europe,
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe,
Federation of Riding for the Disabled International,
European Federation of the animal health industry,
International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organisations,
International Rescue Dog Organisation.

IFAH-Europe is the organisation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in Europe and comprises 16 Member Companies and 19 National Associations throughout Europe.