Animal Protection Inspection
Animal Friends suggests adding the following paragraphs to the Article 58 of the Animal Protection Act (encouraging animal protection and supervision): "Supervision over the implementation of the regulation should be performed by animal protection inspection" and "For supervision over the implementation of the regulation the Minister can also authorize a non-profit association."
Explanation: Currently the only governing body for reporting abuse, negligence and abandoning of animals in Republic of Croatia is the veterinary inspection. However, the veterinary inspection is also responsible for dozens of other jurisdictions and does not specialize in animal protection.
Therefore it is essential to form the animal protection inspection. It would exclusively deal with negligence, abuse and abandoning of animals. Inspectors would need to know how to approach a strange animal with an unknown health status, how to correctly read a chip, how to recognize negligence and animal abuse. They would be authorized to search for the perpetrator, fine them on the spot and take the animal away if they judge this to be necessary. They would collaborate with shelters, veterinary units and the police.
Animal inspectors would not have to be veterinary doctors (like veterinary inspectors), it would suffice for them to be educated - to fully understand and know the Animal Protection Act, linked procedures and sanitary and health measures when it comes to working with animals. All the volunteers working in shelters are already more than qualified for this, and in order for all of it to fit into the legal framework, an officially recognized short education - course/further education could be organized. Considering the current state of affairs the easiest way for this to happen would be under the Ministry of Agriculture, as part of the animal protection department. The non-government sector also has great human resources and could organize this, but there is lack of money.
Animal police is an organized animal protection system that is shown to be very effective in the world (The Netherlands, Great Britain, USA). In the US, state services and non-governmental organizations take the role of the police, and they are followed by TV cameras in their live animal rescue missions in the field.
According to these examples from other countries, it is important to include non-profit associations in controlling the law enforcement and the option to receive authorization from the appropriate ministry (i.e. the minister should be stipulated). Involving the associations would bring multiple benefits as they are experienced in working with animals, interested and involved in it, and they also know the law well.
Citizens' associations have been partly engaging in this, but without any real power which hinders further development and the opportunity for progress or obtaining foreign funding. An example is SUZA (Zagreb Association of Animal Protection Organizations) who have been taking citizens’ calls for years and react by coming out to the field and reporting.
Such a provision of the law would also represent a basis for founding animal police, in order for the Animal Protection Act to be carried out most effectively and to punish abandoning, neglecting and torturing of animals.
The proposal from Animal Friends for this change in the Animal Protection Act is from year 2012.