Bernd Halling
IFAH-Europe Communications Director
Rue Defacqz 1, B-1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 543 75 75
Fax: +32 2 537 00 49
[email protected]


European Pet Night 2007: Companion animals take over the European quarter

BRUSSELS, 22 November 2023 Horses, assistance dogs and a teacher dog came to Brussels yesterday evening 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, were the hosts of this unique reception that took place yesterday evening in the heart of the European quarter in Brussels.

Highlighting the multifaceted benefits of animals to people, European Pet Night opened the stage to lively testimonies by police horses, by Galia, an assistance dog and her owner, and by primary school teacher Mrs. Denis and Shana, a dog in the classroom. These presentations reminded European decision-makers of the importance of animal welfare and animal health for society at large.

MEP Neil Parish, who currently chairs the Intergroup on animal welfare, highlighted the importance of animals for human well-being: "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 like in the case of the Brussels horse police that creates trust through the mere presence of animals."

MEP 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 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.

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The following associations have co-organised European Pet Night 2007:

ADEu - Assistance Dogs Europe,

FVE - Federation of Veterinarians of Europe,

FRDI - Federation of Riding for the Disabled International,

IFAH-Europe - European Federation of the animal health industry,

IAHAIO - International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organisations,

IRO - International Rescue Dog Organisation

IFAH-Europe (International Federation for Animal Health-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. For further information on IFAH-Europe, please visit the European Pet Night 2007 web page