Certificate of commitment and knowledge, period of 7 days between its issuance and delivery of the animal, diploma required to transfer an animal free of charge or against payment… .
from 1er next October, the rules for accessing the property of a pet, dog or cat (or even equine), will be changed. On this date, the issuance of a “certificate of commitment and acknowledgment” must be previously signed by the future owner.
This new provision was desired by the law “which aims to combat animal abuse and strengthen the bond between animals and humans”, voted on November 30, 2021 by the National Assembly (law approved by deputy Loïc Dombreval). The first enforcement decree, released on July 19, therefore concerns access to the property.
If the law was received very positively during its vote by animal rights activists, as it underlines the desire to make the future owner of a cat or dog (including a ferret or a rabbit) aware of their responsibilities, the implementation of the new provisions already raises many questions.
Content yet to be written
Starting with the content of the certificate of commitment and knowledge. The decree specifies that the latter must clearly send “awareness and information messages – mentioned in 2º of VI of article L. 214-8 – on the means, including financial ones, necessary to meet the animals’ needs in terms of health, food, housing conditions, identification, socialization, weaning and education”. The text should therefore describe “the physiological, behavioral and medical needs [qui] it must take into account the state of scientific knowledge; the obligations relating to the identification of the animal and the financial and logistical implications linked to the satisfaction of the physiological, behavioral and medical needs of this species throughout the life of the animal”.
However, no model is provided for creators or associations, much less for individuals, who came to understand that it was up to them to write the document.
And that’s where things get complicated, because that means there will be as many certificates as assignors (potentially) and that no content validation is planned. For Anne-Marie Le Roueil, president of the National Union for the Professions of Dogs and Cats, the implementing decree had the effect of a cold shower. “Initially, during the discussions we had with the ministry, it was about the content that was being written by Organs professional bodies, that is, the unions. This is no longer the case. We are disappointed, but we are going to write ours, which we will put online, available to our creators and all those who want to consult and be inspired by it. »
An authorization to issue the certificate that raises the issue
But, for the professional, it is less embarrassing to draw up the certificate than to deliver it. Indeed, the law provides that only certain categories of people in contact with animals can do so, namely those who “hold a professional certification concerning at least one of the species in question (the list of recognized certifications is established by the Minister responsible for Agriculture)”; those who have “carried out training in an establishment authorized by the Minister of Agriculture to acquire knowledge regarding the biological, physiological and behavioral needs and maintenance of companion animals and who have a certificate of knowledge established by the administrative authority”; and those who “have a certificate of capacity issued by the administrative authority.” For the latter, it is the Acced, the certificate of knowledge for pets of domestic species, a diploma issued after two to three days of training. “This is where the problem lies. ”, says Anne-Marie Le Roueil, “because in France you are considered a breeder so sells puppies or kittens from a single litter per year. But the training requirement only applies from the second litter. Thus, these people are not professionals, they are often unqualified individuals who offer their animals on the net, through classified ads. Not to mention all those individuals who continue to give kittens and puppies to websites… How are they going to be able to have a signed certificate of commitment and acknowledgment? Who will examine them? We will end up with “mercenaries” who will volunteer to manage the delivery of these famous certificates to them (free of charge or for a fee). See you on Facebook! »
7 days of reflection
For Anne-Marie Le Roueil, the implementation of the issuance of the certificate, as defined by the implementing decree, does not fulfill the primary objective of this long-awaited law, namely that future adopters are no longer content to sign a piece of paper if they consider themselves responsible. . Especially because in case of lack of signature on the part of those who adopt the animal, it is the “transmitter” (the breeder or the association) who will be fined. “The breeder will have to pay a fine of 68 euros and the individual will not be worried, as the aim was to hold the future owner responsible! » the president of the SNPCC is surprised. He also points the finger at the management of these documents (in duplicate) that cannot be dematerialized, as they must include a handwritten sentence relating to the knowledge of responsibilities as well as the signature of the new owner.
The implementing decree raises another problem ahead, namely the delay imposed by law between the signature and the delivery of the animal to its owner. Set to a minimum of 7 days, it therefore excludes impulse buying, which is good, but at the same time it disrupts transaction habits that usually take place in one day. For Anne-Marie Le Roueil, the difficulty can be overcome by creators. “With Covid and the lockdowns, we learned to send buyers, upstream, all documents relating to a sale. The certificate will therefore be sent when the animal is booked and returned signed within the time allowed. But don’t hide your face, many people won’t be bothered by this delay. They will roll back the said certificate! »
As for shows and exhibitions, where sales of puppies and kittens take place on the same day, things seem to have been anticipated. In any case, in Paris, where the Animal Expo, organized by Florence de la Moureyre, will take place from the first weekend of October (date of application of the decree). “There is no longer any direct sale of puppies at the fair, says the organizer. The dog breeders who will participate in the 2022 edition will present their breeds and raise awareness, and the cat breeders will come to the feline competition. This will not prevent bookings for new born or future litters, but the deadline will be respected. »
New rules for sales at fairs and exhibitions
The Parisian fair at Parc Floral de Vincennes also laid down rules on adoptions offered through the Adoption Center. Created three years ago, it allows associations such as An Ti Loened by Sabrina Gros to find a family for their abandoned proteges. “Each visitor who takes their ticket to the show on the booking website will inform us in advance that they want to adopt an animal from an association, specifies Florence de la Moureyre. We did this last March, during the show we are organizing at the exhibition center. Each request was sent to the association that collected the animal held at the site, which had an appointment for the weekend. It will be enough to add the famous certificate. »
For the organizer, this implementing decree is a step in the right direction, even if it does not solve everything, especially with regard to the implementation of the new provisions. “We must also be allowed to see how things will work out and we will adapt to comply with the law. He recognises, however, that an animal exhibition without animals runs the risk of being a little complicated… “We have to fear that breeders will no longer want to come if they can’t sell their litters there…”, he concludes.