04/28/21 Ministry of Agriculture: The goal is to stop keeping dogs on a chain

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An official discussion has begun on the initiative of associations to amend the Animal Protection Act

- The first meeting was held in the Ministry regarding the appeals of the campaign "For Croatia without dogs on a chain"

At the initiative of animal protection associations which launched the campaign "For Croatia without dogs on a chain", a meeting was held last week at the Ministry of Agriculture, with representatives from the Ministry, associations, the Animal Protection Network, animal shelters and veterinary inspections. Regarding the request of the associations for an urgent amendment to the Animal Protection Act, the Ministry stated that it would "inform the public in due course about further measures and actions related to improving the conditions of keeping tied dogs (including responsible dog ownership), with the ultimate goal of stopping dogs being chained".

Representatives of associations, networks and shelters proposed that the word "permanently" be deleted from the article of the Animal Protection Act, which prescribes that it is forbidden to "keep dogs chained permanently", and that misdemeanor provisions should be added or that keeping dogs chained should be banned altogether. They believe that this is the only way to put an end to this type of animal and put it into practice, which is necessary and possible. They presented shocking photo documentation of the current situation, which shows that due to the vagueness of the Law, dogs experience physical and mental suffering, for which no one is held responsible.

They clarified that the provision that is currently in the Act does not prohibit the permanent keeping of dogs on a chain, prevents the implementation of the Law and doesn’t make it possible for the local communities to enact a total ban. A clear legal ban at the state level would help local communities more easily enforce their obligation to control animal keeping, would not require further prescribing, and would not put municipal wardens in the ungrateful position of having to measure the length of the chain on which a dog is being abused.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out the need to strengthen the communication at the local and regional level regarding the way dogs are kept on a chain with the aim of completely banning the keeping of dogs permanently tied, all as a cultural achievement of civil society. The associations stated that they are aware of the importance of education and have been continuously conducting it in cities and municipalities for years. They emphasized that in the long run, only a complete ban on keeping dogs on a chain would lead to better animal keeping conditions, and thus a reduction in the number of abandoned animals, given that dogs on a leash are often unmarked, unvaccinated and uncastrated, so new and unwanted animals come from them, which local communities need to take care of.

Representatives of associations and shelters pointed out that the campaign received incredibly strong support from the media, as well as citizens, and among whom, according to polls, 80 percent support the ban on keeping dogs on a chain, which is supported by almost 55,000 signatures accumulated in a very short time. They handed over the support from the Croatian Veterinary Chamber and the Department of Small Practice Veterinarians to the representatives of the Ministry and mentioned they just received support from the Association of Cities. They concluded that a legal ban on keeping dogs on a chain would bring about a lot of good things to Croatia, both nationally and internationally.

The associations expect a concrete move by the Ministry with the aim of completely banning the keeping of dogs on a chain and continue the campaign, which was supported, among others, by the international organization OIPA, which Animal Friends Croatia is a member of. The Animal Shelter ‘Friends’ akovec, the Victory Association, and Animal Friends Croatia and more than 50 members of the Animal Protection Network, who launched the national campaign "For Croatia without dogs on a chain", remind everyone to sign this important petition at www.zabranimolanac.net and share it on social networks. Also, citizens can write to the Government at gradjani@vlada.hr and the Minister of Agriculture at kabinet@mps.hr asking for a complete legal ban on keeping dogs on a chain.

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