03/27/06 Animal Protection According to the New Act
Draft proposal for the new Animal Protection Act available to public
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management published the Draft proposal for the new Animal Protection Act. Its final version will this week be forwarded to the Government of the Republic of Croatia for evaluation so it could be sent further to the Parliament procedures.
After months of campaigning for a change of the existing Animal Welfare Act, and as a part of the working team by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Friends' comments and suggestions helped in forming the Draft proposal for the new Animal Protection Act in order to correct deficiencies of the current Act. Animal Friends' representatives attended workshop organized by the Ministry regarding the legal basics of animal welfare issues as well as screening in Brussels on the topic of Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Politics.
Even though the Ministry accepted many suggestions made by Animal Friends and incorporated them in the Draft, nevertheless many suggestions were rejected, such as a ban on keeping dogs on a chain, what is a part of Austrian Animal Welfare Act upon which this Draft was based.
It is still not sure whether the Ministry will accept the suggestion about ban on breeding of animals for their fur or not. Animal Friends insists on this ban. At the moment there are still intensive negotiations between the organization and the Ministry. Obvious ethical and ecological reasons for such ban are supported by the Croatian public which condemns fur industry cruelty and demands a ban on breeding of animals for fur. We expect that the Ministry will accept arguments for this ban which would not damage the Croatian economy and, in the end, let the Government and the Parliament vote upon it.
Nevertheless, the final Draft proposal for the new Animal Protection Act brings many improvements in comparison to the current one. The most important news are:
- Introduction of an Ethical Committee institution for the approvment of experiments, it will also be consisted of representatives of animal protection organizations,
- Ban on animal experiments for the purpose of testing of cosmetics, final products or ingredients, unless there is no alternative scientific method,
- Slaughter of animals on homesteads can be performed only by an expert, stunning is obligatory, unless for rabbits and poultry,
- Ban on using wild animals in circus shows,
- Ban on animal fights,
- Introduction of Animal Protection Committee which states opinions about improvement of legal animal protection, which will also include representatives of animal protection organizations,
- Ban on selling dogs and cats in pet shops and introducing of compulsory handing of written instructions for the treatment of the sold animal to every buyer,
- In case of repeated crimes against the companion animals, perpetuator will be punished with financial punishment, the animal will be taken away from him/her and it is possible to prohibit that person to obtain other animals,
- Ban on dog pounds, every town or county will have legal obligation to build an animal shelter,
- Ban on ear-clipping and tail-docking of dogs, de-clawing of cats or removing of vocal chords,
- Ban on giving away live animals as prizes on games or fairs.
We hope this Draft will not end up as did the Draft for the current Animal Welfare Act which was so shortened that it became absurd and illogical. Croatia should introduce a law which would protect animals more efficiently and in a wider scope.