Companion Animals Breeding Control
The Animal Protection Act stipulates (Art. 48, paragraphs 5 and 6): (5) Animals holders must ensure the controlled reproduction of animals under their control. (6) The holders must take care of the offspring of their own companion animals in accordance with the provisions of this Act and in the case of uncontrolled reproduction, when they do not want to take care of the cubs they need to bear the costs of their care.
The Amendment of Animal Friends: (5) Animal holders must ensure the controlled reproduction of animals under their control by castration. (6) The owners must take care of the offspring of their own companion animals in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and if they're not able to take care of them they need to bear the costs of their castration and care.
Explanation: The biggest number of animals in shelters is due to the unwanted offsprings of animals. If the animal is not intended for breeding, it is at risk its uncontrolled breeding. The practice confirms that almost no one has paid the costs of care for unwanted offspring of their animal nor was penalized for leaving the animals, which in Croatia the provisions of the Animal Protection Act are violated on daily basics. There are many strays and abandoned animals and the financial burden is significant for local communities and citizens, therefore, the irresponsible holders should be penalized if they don't take care of young animals they have. Set of legal provisions, clearly explained, will improve the implementation of the Act.
During the operation of Committee for Amendments to the Animal Protection Act in 2015/2016, we have supported the proposal from Shelter for Abandoned Animals "Cakovec Friends". Aleksandra Hampamer, head of the Shelter, presented at a Committee meeting the proposal for the law to adopt mandatory castration for all dogs ("except working dogs and dogs with breeding permit") as the only humane way to control the dog population, which moreover brings significant long-term savings for the budget of local government and the entire state.
Such a proposal we consider the most effective long-term solution to the problem of animal care. We propose determination of castration for the pet holders as the main solution to ensure the control of reproduction. With such clear provision for pet holders it will make difficult for them to avoid responsibility for the reproduction of the animals in their care, given that the animals cannot escape, get lost or be left; if not neutered, there is every possibility that they will multiply uncontrollably in the streets.
During the operation of Committee, the Ministry, in addition to the separation of male and females, proposed contraception as well as a method to control reproduction. This method can be used only through a few cycles in a row, and so it’s impractical and unreliable. It can be carried out exclusively on females and doing so is ineffective if the oral contraceptive does not apply in a specific time of a sexual cycle and with precise dosage, which cannot be implemented without regular supervision of veterinarians. In addition, there is a great risk to the health of animals or the occurrence of an infection of the uterus and vaginal infections, tumors, diabetes, problems with the adrenal glands, liver disease and so on. Physical methods of contraception are proved to be inapplicable with dogs and cats. Because of the numerous side effects of contraceptives it is not recommended as a way to control reproduction and it shouldn’t be stipulated by the law.
Therefore, we suggest that the Law implement neutering of pets as the only permanent and secure way to control their reproduction.
In 2012 the Animal Friends presented this proposal for the first time on the occasion of amendments to the Animal Protection Act of 2013, and it was supplemented by 2015/2016.