ICAWC 2014 Press Release

Posted: 10/10/2014

10th October 2014


241delegates from 41 countries attended the annual conference

Dogs Trust, the UKs largest dog welfare charity has, this week, launched the EU Dog and Cat Alliance after concerns that there are around *61 million owned dog and 66 million owned cats in the European Union but little EU legislation to protect them.

The charity recognises that cross border activity can have a huge impact on human and animal health and welfare, consumer protection and the functioning of the internal market. To combat the issue of varying standards in different EU countries and the fact that there is very little EU legislation to protect dogs and cats, the EU Dog and Cat Alliance has been formed at this crucial time to call for EU actions to protect these animals.

On the Alliance, Dogs Trust Chief Executive and founder of ICAWC, Clarissa Baldwin OBE, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by such a positive response to the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and are thrilled to report that we launched with 14 organisations already signed up as members. With a huge amount of interest generated from other European organisations at ICAWC, we look forward to welcoming further members on board. We hope that the Alliance will bring greater cohesion on commercial breeding, trade and movements across member states and promote better standards for all EU based dogs and cats.”

Now in its sixteenth year, ICAWC is the leading conference of its kind and provides a platform where hundreds of delegates working in the field of animal welfare can network, exchange knowledge and gain support from their international contemporaries.

30 speakers from across the world presented on topics such as:

  • Animal Training and Behaviour
  • Fundraising techniques
  • Neutering and population control
  • Volunteer management
  • Animal legislation
  • Rehoming
  • Assistance dogs

Clarissa continued:

”We are delighted with the fantastic attendance numbers to the conference this year, my last before I retire as CEO of Dogs Trust. Over the last sixteen years I have seen the conference grow not only in attendance numbers but also in quality and content. It has been a privilege to be part of this annual event which sees delegates leaving with so many ideas, and inspired to put their learnings into practice to work towards improvements in animal welfare standards in their various countries.”

Over the three days, participants were invited to attend workshops and listen to a number of international speakers on subjects ranging from: shelter building, stress in cats, tackling rabies in India and stray animal issues in Turkey, and even a live training and behaviour session with puppies from a local shelter.

However, the main focus of the conference was the new EU Dog and Cat Alliance. Membership is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations from across the EU, which are involved in the rescue/rehoming of dogs and cats, or working to protect their welfare. To find out more about the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and its work, see www.dogandcatwelfare.eu or tweet us at @EUdogsandcats. The Alliance is funded by the UK charity and founding member, Dogs Trust. Members will not be asked to contribute a membership fee to join the Alliance but may, on occasion, be asked to help sponsor or fund specific research, events or initiatives if they so wish.

In addition, to find out more about the conference please go to www.icawc.org or email international@dogstrust.org.uk

The 14 members of the EU Dog and Cat Alliance are organisations from different EU countries which are working to protect dog and cat welfare.

Members so far are:

  • Animais de Barcelos
  • Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
  • Blue Cross
  • British Veterinary Association
  • Change For Animals Foundation
  • Dogs Trust
  • International Cat Care
  • Irish Blue Cross
  • The Mayhew Animal Home
  • One Kind
  • Wood Green

*The European Pet Food Industry facts and figures 2012: http://www.fediaf.org/facts-figures/