04/28/08 Rulebook on Dangerous Dogs
Zagreb Association of Animal Welfare Organizations – SUZA and Animal Friends demand legal prosecution of the owner of the pit-bull and the application of the Rulebook on dangerous dogs
After the recent incident when a hybrid pit-bull, because of the irresponsibility of his owner, killed a Maltese dog and seriously injured his owner in the very centre of Zagreb, SUZA and Animal Friends wish to draw attention to the fact that the Animal Protection Act and the Regulative on Dangerous Dogs are still not satisfactorily implemented.
Even though the Rulebook on Dangerous Dogs was promulgated in 2005, its implementation in practice has been largely insufficient, which means that many pit-bull terriers and their hybrids have not been micro-chipped, castrated, or entered into the "Register of Potentially Dangerous Dogs." Therefore, the issue is not to change laws, but to implement them properly.
Last year, for example, when Animal Friends reported to the inspectors in charge a breeding farm of pit-bull terriers intended for dog fights, whose owner even acknowledged his illegal activity, the Veterinary Inspection inquired into the matter, established that there were ten pit-bull terriers on the premises, and issued a report that everything was correct since the dogs had been vaccinated against rabies – without even ordering the owner to micro-chip and neuter the dogs or let them be entered into the "Register of Potentially Dangerous Dogs." No charges were pressed against their owner, although he was violating both the Animal Protection Act and the Rulebook on Dangerous Dogs.
There are many such cases in Croatia, which clearly show that, despite the existence of legal regulations, dog fights are manifestly present. What surprises in this recent case is the fact that the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Rural Planning has not even reacted to the newspaper articles related to this incident, even though they were in direct charge of such matters.
SUZA and Animal Friends demand that the owner of the pit-bull should be legally prosecuted in order to draw the focus on the problem, i.e. away from the dogs, which are not to be blamed for their state, and look after an implementation of important legal acts.
Excerpts from the valid legal regulation:
Animal Protection Act (N/N 135/06)
(4) It is prohibited to keep and handle a companion animal, or allow it to move, in a way that poses a risk to the health and safety of other animals and people, in particular children.
(7) The Minister shall prescribe the requirements for, and the manner of, keeping dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs.
Rulebook on Dangerous Dogs (N/N 26/05)
(3) Bullterriers that cannot be entered into the Register (pit-bull terriers) and their hybrids must be micro-chipped, neutered, and entered into the Dog Inventory under the classification of "Potentially Dangerous Dogs."
(1) When purchasing a potentially dangerous dog, the owner must report it and let it be entered into the Dog Inventory under the classification of "Potentially Dangerous Dogs."
(2) In order to maintain or purchase a potentially dangerous dog or one from Article 6 paragraph 1 of this Rulebook, the owner must submit the following documentation to the Veterinary Office, which must be issued by an adequate institution:
– that he or she has not been prosecuted on account of illegal actions against human life and body, drug abuse, torture of animals, or other actions exercised with the use of violence or threat, illegal appropriation or damage of property;
– that he or she is older than 18;
– that he or she is physically and mentally fit for work.
A legal person shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine from HRK 5,000 to HRK 15,000 in accordance with Article 67 paragraph 1 item 44 of Animal Protection Act.
SUZA and Animal Friends Croatia have pressed charges against the irresponsible owner whose dog has killed the Maltese.
Video footage of dogfights in Croatia: