09/22/17 Animal Protection Act passes second reading in Croatian Parliament!
MPs unanimously support the Final Animal Protection Act Proposal
- MPs have submitted amendments to further improve a widely supported Animal Protection Act Proposal
The second reading of the Animal Protection Act Proposal on September 21th, 2017 showed that the new law, featuring progressive amendments to the current law, will bring long awaited changes to animal protection in Croatia! The provision to prohibit the the killing of animals in shelters got the most attention, and likewise, was met with the greatest enthusiasm by the vast majority of the public.
On behalf of their deputy clubs, the MPs unanimously commended and supported the Act Proposal, and they used the second reading for the submission of amendments and improvements. They argued that, because of the differing financial means of local communities, the counties should also contribute towards the expenses of founding and running the shelters. Zeljko Kraljicak, the state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, has highlighted the new provision mandating that funds obtained by communal inspection fines go to the municipalities' budgets, and thus, sufficient funds will be obtained if everyone works on the implementation of the Act.
On behalf of the Deputy Club of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Josip Krizanic said the Act Proposal is humane, practical, high quality, and made with the best intentions. He added that it has been exceptionally well received by the public, animal protection organisations and shelters.
Anka Mrak-Taritas, of the Deputy Club of the Civic Liberal Alliance and Croatian Party of Pensioners (GLAS and HSU), assessed the Proposal as a true and progressive breakthrough, further expressing that its implementation on the ground is crucial. She pointed out the overburdening of communal inspectors and the necessity for veterinary inspection and veterinarians to take an active role in the implementation of the Act. She pleaded for the bullfighting ban and for the exhibition of bulls in peaceful competitions instead of inciting one animal against the other. An amendment to ban the disgraceful act of bullfighting was also filed by MP Marin Skibola, in accordance with the already existing ban on the general organization of animal fighting.
On behalf of the Deputy Club of the Human Blockade and Power - People's and Civic Engagement Party (Zivi zid and SNAGA), Branimir Bunjac said he was glad there would be no more healthy dogs killed in shelters, and that his Club would have supported the Act Proposal even if that was the only new provision in it, simply because it would make Croatia a better, more civilized country to live in. He highlighted other positive items, including: registry of companion animals, obligation to control microchipping, possibility for the minister to declare mandatory spaying /neutering, and the greater authority of the communal inspectors. He spoke of the harmful effects of eating meat on the environment, the problem of greenhouse gases, water consumption and rainforest clearance caused by the meat industry, and, in particular, the inhumane treatment of 70 billion animals yearly raised and killed for food worldwide. He pointed out the hypocrisy of our 21st-century human society, which considers itself humane while cutting defenseless animals´ throats. While meat marketing shows us pictures of happy animals, in reality they live on concrete, without movement or sunlight, exposed to infections. Bunjac believes that, in the future, we will advance as a society through improved animal protection.
Veljko Kajtazi, on behalf of the Deputy Club of national minorities, and Stjepan Kovac, from the Deputy Club of the Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats and Deputy Club of the Civic Liberal Alliance and Croatian Party of Pensioners (GLAS and HSU), submitted an amendment to allow municipalities to prescribe permanent sterilisation in order to reduce the number of neglected and abandoned animals and thus lower the burden on shelters. Kajtazi expects minister Tolusic to immediately issue an order for mandatory spaying/neutering to remedy the damage in the Roma settlements of Medjimurje County. He also proposed an amendment requiring the registration of all animal breeders, irrespective of the number of breeding females.
The Deputy Club of the Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats and the Deputy Club of the Civic Liberal Alliance and Croatian Party of Pensioners (GLAS and HSU) submitted an amendment proposing that animals who are bred for use in experiments are to be offered for adoption.
Predrag Matic, Deputy Club of the Human Blockade and Power (Zivi zid and SNAGA), and the Deputy Club of the Civic Liberal Alliance and Croatian Party of Pensioners (GLAS and HSU) have requested an amendment prohibiting the organisation of horse competitions in pulling logs. These two deputy clubs also submitted an amendment requiring hunters to treat cats and dogs on hunting grounds as lost or abandoned animals, mandating hunters take care of these animals in accordance with the Animal Protection Act instead of killing them. The amendment on the prohibition of cruel pest capture through adhesives was submitted by the Deputy Club of the Human Blockade and Power (Zivi zid and SNAGA).
The MPs expect the adoption of these amendments with the aim of improving the Animal Protection Act Proposal, while Animal Friends, other associations and citizens eagerly await its passage into law.