The European Commission has said that it is considering the implementation of new digital ID rules for cats and dogs bred commercially. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)


EC considers digital-ID rules for cats and dogs


The European Commission is considering the implementation of new digital-ID rules for cats and dogs bred commercially.

Writing in response to a parliamentary question, the EC said that the correct identification and registration of such animals was an “essential requirement” under European Union law.

It added that, while it does not see much value in establishing a pan-European database for pets and their owners, it was mulling forcing Member States to make sure that information from their national cat and dog databases is accessible to other EU nations.

“In the context of the revision of the EU animal welfare legislation, the Commission is indeed assessing policy options which include mandatory identification and registration of cats and dogs born at commercial breeding establishments,” EC Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides wrote.

She added that “databases established and maintained by the Member States” may soon be forced “to comply with standards of inter-operability to allow accessibility of data throughout the EU” if the body goes ahead with the reforms.

Kyriakides’ comments come as the EU tries to establish greater control of Europe’s digital sphere, especially in regard to identification and censorship.

The bloc is due to force certain tech giants to implement a strict regime of online censorship from the end of August under the Digital Services Act.

EC Internal Market tsar Thierry Breton has previously claimed the EU will be able to ban social media platforms from the bloc within a matter of hours if Brussels’ censorship rules are not obeyed.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank (ECB) has been pursuing the creation of a digital Euro, a type of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will be fully under the control of the EU institution.

In theory, the currency could be programmed by the ECB, allowing it to control what citizens are allowed – or not allowed – to spend their currency on, as well as where.

The central bank has firmly denied that it would ever allow the currency to be programmed, although such promises have not assuaged the fears of many critics.

It has also been claimed that the use of a CBDC will necessitate some form of digital ID, which has prompted serious privacy concerns from some human-rights activists.