The beginning of the FCI’s Plan for the Future

The last six months have seen a great deal of hard work, adaptation, changes and planning. They have also been the first six months of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale’s new plan for the future and during this time we have reached a consensus on working together to build a platform for the new FCI.

Ever since the very first day on which I became chairman, I have been determined that the FCI would begin this new era strengthened and united, in order to face up to the challenges that lay ahead of us all, and to make the changes needed in order to convert the FCI into a proactive organisation which would benefit not only our members but - far more importantly - the dogs of the world.

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Rafael de Santiago
President of the FCI
Working together to stop the trade in puppies

The aim of the “Welpen sind keine Ware” (puppies are not goods) initiative is to put a stop to the practices of the European dog mafia.

The advice of the initiative's partners: don't buy puppies on the Internet, on the market, from a car boot or from a pet shop.

With their “Welpen sind keine Ware” initiative, leading German animal and animal welfare institutions (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen - VDH, Vier Pfoten, TASSO, Bund gegen Missbrauch der Tiere - bmt, die Tierärztliche Vereinigung für Tierschutz - TVT and the Gesellschaft für Tierverhaltensmedizin und -therapie), together with Europe's largest magazine for dog-lovers, DOGS, are joining forces to combat the trade in puppies.

The aim is to raise public and political awareness for the increasing problem of mafia practices in connection with puppies and to the possible consequences thereof. European puppy production is centred in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. From Poland to Bulgaria, via the Ukraine and Romania, puppies are being bred under terrible quasi-factory conditions, often taken away from their mothers much too early and then sent westwards in a dire state - ill, under-nourished and in most cases without the required vaccinations.

The actual trade in puppies is centred in Belgium and the Netherlands, though there are no reliable figures to substantiate this. Cees Veermann, a former Dutch Minister of Agriculture, has stated that he assumes that two-thirds of dogs sold in his country come from production centres in Eastern Europe. In Belgium, the proportion is thought to be even higher, reaching 80%. These two countries are obvious targets, as in the Netherlands for instance any vet can legally issue a Dutch dog passport on the basis of a foreign one. This results in the puppy no longer being an import from Eastern Europe, but instead a Dutch one and consequently easier to sell. Equipped with new papers, the living freight is then shipped to other European countries such as Germany, France, Italy or even Spain. What however is often overlooked is the fact that about half of the animals are seriously ill. In addition, the young dogs frequently suffer from socialisation problems.

The “Welpen sind keine Ware” initiative is calling on potential buyers to be very careful when buying a dog, and provides them with the following tips:

  • Don't buy puppies on the Internet, on the market, from a car boot or from a pet shop.
  • Don't buy a puppy on the spur of the moment, and not at all on compassionate grounds.
  • When buying a puppy, always have the seller show you the puppy's mother, paying attention to whether the puppy seems attached to it.
  • Breeders not interested in what happens to their dogs are not to be trusted.

The working group on the trade in puppies has been in existence since 2011. With its “Welpen sind keine Ware” initiative, the group unites leading pet organisations, clubs, experts and the media in its fight against the trade. For more information, see: (in German)