11/22/22 Animal Protection is Delayed for More Than 15 Years Due to Lack of Employees

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Animal Friends Croatia wrote to Prime Minister Plenković for enabling employing more people for animal protection

- Zoos are registered according to the 17-year-old Ordinance; Department for Animal Protection is proposed

Despite the current ban on employment in state and public offices, Animal Friends Croatia sent a letter to the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković asking for a solution to the problem of lack of employees in the field of animal protection in the Ministry of Agriculture. They suggest that the insufficient number of employees be solved by transferring employees from other administrative organizations and internal organizational units within the Ministry or other ministries dealing with the related issues, or in some other manner.

„Ministry of Agriculture in the Plan of Legislative Activities for 2023, did not include changes to the Animal Protection Act. Thanks to our Association last year initiative and the proposals we submitted on www.boljizakon.net, the Ministry is presently establishing a Commission that will work on the much-needed new Law. However, it is necessary to increase the number of employees in the field of animal protection so that at least by the first quarter of 2024, changes can be made to the Animal Protection Act, as well as other regulations that have been waiting for years”, Animal Friends Croatia point out.

In the letter to Prime Minister Plenković they state that at the beginning of the last year they received an invitation from the Ministry of Agriculture to appoint members of the Commission for amendment of as many as eight regulations in which animal protection should also be regulated. Even though two full years will soon pass, none of those commissions started with their work! Aside from that, the current Animal Protection Act came into force in 2017, but no administrative supervision of its implementation was carried out. The Animal Protection Commission, which provides opinions on proposed regulations in the area of animal protection, did not start working either, even though this is prescribed by the Animal Protection Act from 2006, that being, 16 years ago!

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the great delay in adopting numerous legal amendments and by-laws prescribed by the Animal Protection Act. So, for example, the Ordinance on conditions and work of zoos is 17 years old, it does not prescribe any of the conditions nor dimensions of housing space and was never harmonized even with the old Animal Protection Law from 2006! In August 2021 ended the public consultation on the proposal for the Ordinance on Dangerous Dogs, but even after more than a year, the Commission did not consider the comments from the public debate and finished the work on the Ordinance.

Animal Friends Croatia explained that the Ministry of Agriculture has a number of areas under its jurisdiction – from the still unregulated trade of exotic wild animals as pets, breeding of pets for sale, shelters for abandoned animals, and hotels for pets to keeping the Register of Pets in which details on all abandoned animals in registered shelters must be kept, evaluating the Program for Controlling the Population of Abandoned Animals in Counties, adopting other solutions and guides, keeping a series of records, etc.

„Years pass by and with the insufficient staff employed for animal protection within the Directory for Veterinary Medicine and Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture, it is impossible to implement even the minimum, let alone all prescribed obligations. That is why animals suffer, problems for the entire community just pile up and further progress in animal protection in Croatia is not possible, even though a vast majority of citizens consider it necessary.

Our Association, already three years ago, proposed to the Ministry to establish a Department for Animal Protection with a sufficient number of employees who would be able to handle a truly massive scope of work and monitor the achievements and initiatives of other EU countries. It is a logical proposal and solution considering the constant increase of work in the field of animal protection in Croatia, Europe and the world”, Animal Friends Croatia concludes.

They expect Prime Minister Plenković to enable the Ministry of Agriculture to hire additional employees in the area of animal protection or to otherwise influence the solution to the problem of lack of people in order to meet the deadlines prescribes by both the EU legislation and the national legislation.

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