01/14/21 Finally: Rabies vaccination according to the vaccine manufacturer's instructions

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The petition of Animal Friends Croatia was a success, they are welcoming the new decision of the Ministry of Agriculture

- Great news for all dog caregivers: Dogs must be vaccinated according to the vaccine manufacturer's instructions

After launching a petition four years ago to make vaccination of dogs against rabies mandatory for a certain period of time according to the instructions of the vaccine manufacturer, and not every year, Animal Friends Croatia welcomes the long-awaited novelty issued by the Ministry of Agriculture Order on measures to protect animal health from infectious and parasitic diseases and their financing in 2021. Unlike the previous vaccination obligation against rabies each year in dogs older than three months, it is now stipulated that the pet passport and the Lysacan application must be marked with the vaccination validity period in accordance with the vaccine manufacturer's instructions.

"This is great news for all dog caregivers. Finally, we have a logical provision that vaccinating dogs against rabies is mandatory every two or even three years, as most vaccines provide immunity, ” says the Animal Friends Croatia association.

They explain that dog caregivers in Croatia have so far been obliged to vaccinate their dogs against rabies every 12 months, which created unnecessary costs for them and did not additionally protect dogs. Namely, the world's leading organization that brings together small animal veterinarians, WSAVA, has previously issued guidelines that most EU member states adhere to, according to which dogs should only be vaccinated the first two times each year, and then as much as vaccine manufacturers say. Animal Friends Croatia has warned of the absurdity that some vaccinate their dogs excessively, every year, while some dogs are not vaccinated even once.

"For years, we have been advocating that veterinarians, veterinary inspection, communal wardens and local communities carry out systematic control of vaccination and microchipping of dogs, which would include all dogs in Croatia. Unfortunately, in practice, such control is lacking. One part of the citizens completely avoid vaccinating and microchipping dogs, and it is their irresponsibility and violation of the law that is causing the increase in the number of abandoned animals.

Therefore, we believe that microchipping puppies should not be linked to the first rabies vaccination when they are 90 days old, as it is now, but we appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture to take a further positive step and prescribe that dogs must be microchipped no later than 45 days from the day of birth, therefore, before the first vaccination,” as Animal Friends Croatia suggests.
They state that the emphasis should be on comprehensive, thorough, and strict control and enforcement of the law, especially microchipping dogs, which is the only effective way to better vaccinate and reduce the number of abandoned dogs: “We regularly remind all local communities to meet their legal obligations and to check if all dogs in their areas are marked with a microchip. Once all the dogs are microchipped, it will be easy to carry out vaccination control, and this is even more important now, in a situation in which the obligation to vaccinate dogs against rabies is every two to three years.”

Most countries in Western and Central Europe have been free of rabies since the turn of the 21st century. The last case of rabies in Croatia was recorded in the spring of 2014, only three years after the start of the implementation of the national program of oral vaccination against rabies. Animal Friends Croatia calls on local communities and citizens to act in accordance with the law and to take responsible care of animals in order to protect public health, animal health and reduces animal abandonment.

Awaiting increased control over the vaccination of dogs and further positive steps such as enabling mobile veterinary clinics, which are much needed and whose work other countries have long since regulated as well as determining the early labeling of puppies with microchips, they thank everyone for signing the petition and for the support provided, and the Ministry of Agriculture for a reasonable decision which benefits dogs and their caretakers.

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