06/30/17 Animal Protection Act Proposal Receives Approval in Croatian Parliament
MPs decidedly support the Animal Protection Act Proposal
The first reading of the Act Proposal unites the MPs as a necessary step in animal protection in Croatia
At the first reading on June 29th, 2017, the MPs unanimously assessed the proposal as very good and containing advanced legal solutions that would bring Croatia to the level of other EU countries! This evaluation was largely due to proposed regulation aimed at putting an end to killing animals in shelters, which decrees that animals should remain in shelters until they are adopted. The regulation was welcomed by the public and the MPs alike, and after ten years, Croatia is finally about to get a new Animal Protection Act.
The MPs agreed that it will be crucial to educate everyone who will participate in implementing the law. They welcomed the option that the minister or a veterinary inspector might order the sterilization of animals in needed cases, as well as the regulation about control of microchipping dogs, since more microchipped animals will significantly diminish the number of abandoned animals. They added that municipalities should be authorized to make the sterilization of animals mandatory in order to decrease the number of homeless animals and thus alleviate the pressure on shelters. Marko Sladoljev and other MPs announced that some of the amendments should address finding homes for animals that have been used for experimentation.
Anka Mrak Taritas said that the public debate on the new Animal Protection Act had attracted considerable public attention, and that this was an important step forward not only compared to the previous law, but also in terms of our attitude towards animals. Josip Križanić likewise commended the law as “comprehensive, useful, and humane,” and an important step forward in animal welfare that was well received by the general public and would moreover bring considerable cost savings in the long run.
Domagoj Mikulic said that the law was well received because it answered some crucial questions: stopping the killing of animals in shelters and promoting animal adoption. He mentioned Udruga Pobjede - an animal welfare association from Osijek which has helped as many as 200 dogs find a home this year - as a textbook example of a no-kill shelter. Davor Vlaović particularly commended the volunteers who had hitherto carried the burden of homeless animals and indicated that money was obviously not the main problem, since a city as rich as Dubrovnik has no animal shelter.
Veljko Kajtazi emphasized that the problem of dogs in the Roma villages of Međimurska County should be solved on the state level, and that the problem was aggravated by the fact that breeders with up to three female dogs were only obliged to register their business, without having their sales and profit controlled. Branimir Bunjac recalled an important moment earlier this year, when the fur farming ban had come into force, emphasizing that the Croatian public wanted further steps in the protection of all animals.
Predrag Matic commended the ban of using horses and other equines for dragging logs out of the woods, except in otherwise inaccessible areas. He also announced an amendment that would ban the competitions of horses in log dragging, since there is no place for such forms of amusement in the 21st century: It’s not a tradition, just a classic case of cruelty against animals.
Besides these new elements, most legal regulations had been included in the Animal Protection Act since 2007, but many municipalities were not implementing them. Mandatory implementation of the Animal Protection Act by communal inspection was decreed back in 2013 and this Proposal gives them extended authority and the possibility to charge fines on behalf of the municipality. The MPs were of the opinion, however, that the implementation of the Animal Protection Act should not be the exclusive task of the communal inspection, but also of veterinary inspections and veterinarians.
This Animal Protection Act Proposal certainly improves the standards of animal protection. Among other positive changes, it bans cruel practices such as keeping bears and dolphins in captivity, forcing animals to run next to moving motor vehicles, sexual intercourse with animals, plucking feathers off living animals, throwing firecrackers at animals, keeping and using animals in circuses, and so on.
Animal Friends believe that the MPs can further improve the Animal Protection Act Proposal by adding even more beneficial amendments.