11/03/10 The Decision on Keeping of Animals

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Mr. Ivan Barsic, Mayor
Trg svetog Jurja 1
47250 Duga Resa

November 3, 2010

Dear Mr. Barsic,

We are sorry that you weren't able to come to the 8th meeting of the Network Against Animal Abandoning, held on October 23, 2010 in Zagreb. We hope that in the future we will have an opportunity to work together on fulfilling the commitments of local units in accordance with the law and regulations on abandoned animals, which is what the public is interested in in your area of responsibility, and is expressed by approaching our organization with questions.

We emphasize that during the meeting we came to the conclusion that the problem of abandoned animals and caring for them is not the sole responsibility of the so called animal lovers and citizen associations and can in no way be put as a burden to them alone, but is a problem of the whole community, regarding the fact that the animals do not abandon themselves, but rather that their suffering occurs as a result of irresponsible individuals that are part of the society.

What is needed foremost is that the units of local and regional government employ efforts to systematically solve the problem like it has been regulated by the Animal Protection Act. Also important is the cooperation between city/regional authority with the state regulatory bodies - veterinary inspectors in sanctioning irresponsible caretakers of animals through misdemeanour and criminal complaints, with the full cooperation of citizens and citizen associations.

The first step though, is to decide about treatment of animals like every other local community does in accordance with the regulatory laws. City of Zagreb, for example has established such a decision in 2008, namely the Decision on conditions and manner of having pets and the way the abandoned and lost animals are dealt with (the Official Messenger of the City of Zagreb, 21/2008). Similar decisions have been made by numerous cities and counties to act preventively, but also to sanction irresponsible citizens which spend the tax payers money and act inhumanely and in a way deserving of condemnation. Having in mind the expected meeting of the City Council due for November 18, 2010, we hereby employ for your urgent action so as that such decision be made in the shortest time period and put into practice. We will gladly provide help in the process, by providing advice and information that is relevant to the subject.

The problem of a large number of abandoned animals is equally seen in big and small cities. Therefore the entire country is lacking in such shelters for animals that are in concordance with the conditions ascertained by the Animal Protection Act and subsequent regulatory acts, and what is also lacking is adequate veterinary care and programs for castration, animal adoption and punishing irresponsible citizens. Education, first and foremost for the young people, on the protection of animals is mentioned in the law, but has also been noted to be a necessary means to prevent animal abandonment and to support adoption rather than the buying of animals, therefore preventing the problem.

The citizens can be of help, but the influence of city/local authorities is important in order for the citizens not to buy, but adopt abandoned animals and that only if they have the necessary conditions, which includes about 15 years of everyday care, financial expenditures for food, vaccination, veterinary care, medication and castration and temporary taking care of during the seasons vacations. They can help by educating themselves, and also by spreading information, condemning animal abandonment, becoming a member of an association, volunteering etc.

If you haven't had the chance yet, we would be ready in cooperation with the City Office and the Shelter for abandoned animals of the city of Zagreb, located in Dumovac, to organize for you and your associates a visit to the shelter which would be accompanied by the woman who runs the shelter in order to introduce you to the practical application of the regulatory laws.

The shelter in Dumovec is owned by the City of Zagreb and represents a pioneering example in the Republic of Croatia as to how a civilized community should look after abandoned and lost animals, not lagging behind the most advanced examples from the EU.


Luka Oman

Also sent to: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Veterinary Directorate

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