12/04/17 Coordination working groups in each county
Animal Protection Act encourages cooperation and development of joint plans for greater accountability
- First coordination group established: from local self-government to police, all together for implementation
We all looked forward to the new Animal Protection Act, which was put into effect recently, but in order to avoid it staying only a dead letter on paper, a number of provisions were issued that can help in the process. One of them is that counties have to organize coordination working groups that will encourage the application of animal protection regulations, adopting dogs from the shelters, microchipping, spaying/neutering, and education about responsible animal care.
"We urged all counties to set up coordination working groups as soon as possible since they could and should help implement the Animal Protection Act, and because of the provisions that came into force immediately as well as shorter deadlines", said Luka Oman, the president of Animal Friends Croatia, an association which informed all municipalities, cities, and counties about their new responsibilities under the expanded Animal Protection Act. He pointed out that prompt establishment of coordination working groups is also essential because of the mandatory microchip control for dogs, with a deadline set for June 30th, 2018.
A month after the Act was put into effect, the first coordination working group was established in Virovitica-Podravina County. It will propose measures to reduce the number of abandoned animals in the area. The appointed citizen responsible for animal welfare is Predrag Mrmos.
Coordination working groups consist of representatives of local and regional self-government units, animal shelters, animal protection associations, communal inspectors, police, veterinary inspectors, and others. Establishing these working groups serves as an excellent and effective tool that binds all responsible parties and accepts everyone who can and wants to help, in order to sit at the same table and make a joint action plan, exchange experiences, and work together to reduce animal abandonment.
In addition to the aforementioned measures which will increase the responsible behavior of citizens towards the animals they care for, the task of the coordination working group will also be to monitor the work of shelters related to animal advertising and adoption as well as improving animal protection and addressing the specific problems in their environment.
Animal Friends Croatia invites all units of regional self-government to follow the example of Virovitica-Podravina County and to establish coordination working groups as soon as possible. The new Animal Protection Act has provided more than enough effective tools to combat citizens' irresponsibility. All local and regional self-government units that fully use them won't have any problems with the implementation of the Act and will soon achieve results that will bring long term savings and benefits for the animals and the community as a whole.