03/24/23 The law should protect dogs from the horror of living on a chain!
Posters against keeping dogs on chains send a message about the necessity of improving the legal protection of animals.
- Chained dogs awaiting legal changes in agony
Since yesterday, impressive Animal Friends Croatia billboards can be seen on the streets of Zagreb, Varaždin, Osijek, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Pula, and other cities. With a touching visual that says “Chains are not for dogs. Keeping dogs on chains should be banned.” the organization sends a strong message about the horror of keeping dogs on chains and points out one of its proposals for the revision of the Animal Protection Act.
The organization reminds people that dogs are highly social creatures that need to interact with both humans and other animals. Long-term chaining or caging leads to physical and psychological injuries and endangers their well-being. Normally friendly dogs, when chained, become miserable and anxious. The development of neuroses or even aggression occurs. Chains that are constantly around dogs’ necks cause injuries and pain, and collars or even the chains themselves painfully grow into their skin. Dogs are sitting ducks for insects and parasites, and there is a high and ever-present risk of entanglement, strangulation, abuse or even attacks by other dogs and people.
The current Animal Protection Act stipulates that it is prohibited “to keep dogs constantly tethered, or to keep them in areas for the separate keeping of dogs without enabling their free movement outside that area.” This unclear and unenforceable provision enables people to keep dogs constantly chained for many years, or even for life.
The public has become highly sensitized to this issue through signing petitions for the prohibition of keeping dogs chained from 2006 to the present day, as well as through constant education, the campaign “Life on a Chain isn’t Life” and other public actions. In 2021, Animal Shelter Friends Čakovec, the Victory Association, Animal Friends Croatia, and more than 50 members of the Animal Protection Network launched an initiative to completely ban chaining through the campaign “For Croatia without chained dogs”. The campaign has been supported by many local and regional communities, the Croatian Veterinary Chamber, the Croatian Small Animal Veterinary Section and many private veterinary practices, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, the Croatian Firefighting Association, and other institutions as well as famous people. The Ban the Chain petition has been signed by almost 70,000 citizens, while polls have confirmed that more than 80 percent of citizens support the ban on keeping dogs chained!
“All of the aforementioned clearly shows the public’s desire for the Ministry of Agriculture to impose a total ban on keeping dogs on chains as soon as possible, which is also supported by experts, citizens, and local communities,” Animal Friends Croatia points out. As a first step, the Ministry has formed a committee that will also include Animal Friends Croatia and which should soon start working on a new Act with the aim of improving the legal protection of animals in Croatia.
“Among other things, at the committee meetings we will propose a total ban on keeping dogs chained, all animal performances in circuses, and keeping tigers in private captivity, prescribing the so-called Positive List of Animals which can be kept as pets. We explained our proposals at www.boljizakon.net. We hope the new Act will come into force in the first quarter of 2024 at the latest,” said the Association.
Translated by: Dario Rajković