01/24/17 Minister to Ban Killing Animals in Shelters!

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Killing dogs soon to stop—Minister of Agriculture speaks up for abandoned animals

- Tomislav Tolusic: "There are already six no-kill shelters in Croatia and I believe that the new law shouldn't allow killing animals."

At the beginning of the year, Croatian Minister of Agriculture Tomislav Tolusic endorsed the enforcement of the ban on fur farming, thereby taking into account the opinion of the majority of Croatian citizens. He announced the adoption of a new Animal Protection Act "that will foresee a series of new regulations aimed at a better protection of animals." His new statement once again delighted the public: "I'm against killing animals. There are already six no-kill shelters in Croatia and I think that killing animals should not be permitted by the new act. But let's wait until it's adopted."

The Minister's strong support for no-kill shelters is also in sync with the majority public opinion. Citizens supported the ban on killing animals in shelters almost unanimously in the past and especially last year, during the public hearing on the Draft Animal Protection Bill. Surveys have shown that more than 90% of respondents supported the ban on killing stray dogs and cats and wanted the ban to be part of a new Animal Protection Act.

The current Animal Protection Act allows killing animals in shelters after 60 days. That regulation is at odds with animal protection and the well-established practice of Croatian no-kill shelters, which continue to prove only positive results. It is not in line with the public attitude, which has long been in favor of the ban on killing dogs. People do not want their money spent on killing, but rather on spay/neuter, stray care, adoption, and public education programs, which have yielded good results that are in the best interest of both people and animals.

The situation in Croatia is not alarming and there are no packs of stray dogs in the streets. Therefore, we should not look for justifications and call killing unwanted young and healthy animals "euthanasia." Doing away with the kill option would foster the implementation of the Animal Protection Act, seeing that the majority of "shelters" have been taking advantage of the regulation by idly waiting for the 60 days to pass.

The public has for years been aware of the fact that we're killing abandoned dogs that are perfectly healthy. That is neither fair, humane, nor necessary since there are good examples of handling abandoned animals without killing them.

Practice shows that no-kill shelters in Croatia are the most successful in terms of the number of adopted animals. The six no-kill shelters fund advertising and actively rehoming animals. They spend the funds they receive reasonably, aiming to increase the well-being, protection, and adoption rate of animals.

Animal Friends placed Minister Tolusic on its popular Top Ten Good Guys list and publicly commended his support for a better legislation relating to animal protection and his announcement of the ban on killing abandoned animals.

Animal Friends believes that the Ministry of Agriculture will take into account the public opinion, survey results, and 12,000 signers of the Petition for a better Animal Protection Act.

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