03/08/24 More than 14 million euros a year made on the illegal sale of dogs in Croatia

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Animal Friends Croatia asks the institutions to sanction the performance of unregistered activities

- A cruel underground economy is flourishing because animal breeders do not register their economic activity

In the past few days, the State Inspectorate fined a cake seller at the market because she wasn’t registered. At the same time, Animal Friends Croatia has been warning for years that puppies and other animals are being sold every day, without any control by competent inspections, income records and collected taxes. They point to an incredibly absurd situation when those who sell a cake for a few euros are punished, but completely ignore those who grow and sell living creatures for hundreds or even thousands of euros.

"Pet trade is flourishing in Croatia, but our inspections and ministries are not interested in it, even though everything is publicly available. Advertisements are full of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and reptiles, that is, living creatures, whose breeders do not have any registered economic activity. The animals are kept in terrible conditions, which significantly reduces their breeding costs, they are not subject to control of the keeping conditions unless someone reports them, and at the same time they make huge illegal and tax-free profits by breeding and selling animals," warns Animal Friends.

They explain that they surveyed advertisements for the sale of dogs in the most popular Croatian advertisement catalog over two months. They reviewed and recorded more than 1,400 ads for the sale of more than 5,300 dogs with a total estimated value of 2,370,000 euros, which adds up to about 14,000,000 euros annually! This number includes only one advertisement catalog and only dogs, while the sale of various types of animals is advertised in other advertisements in the country and abroad as well as on social networks, in other media and almost all veterinary offices. No mating ads were included in the research, which also brings economic benefits. It is a grey market, which damages the state budget and harms society!

Any trade is regulated by numerous regulations. The Act on the Prohibition and Prevention of Unregistered Activities binds both animal breeders and advertisers. The Trade Act sanctions those who are not registered but carry out trade activities, while the Income Tax Act and the Profit Tax Act apply to breeders.

"On top of the fact that all breeders who sell pets should have a registered economic activity, they should also register breeding at the Ministry of Agriculture, but many avoid this. A certain number of breeders, based on realized incomes that exceed ten average gross salaries in Croatia, should also be liable for VAT!" Animal Friends point out.

In addition to large breeders, there are also a large number of small ones, who often use encrypted ads with unregistered mobile phones, publishing false numbers of dog microchips and handing them in at roadside gas stations. Animal Friends Croatia is convinced that increased control and legalization of this cruel trade would ensure traceability and better care for animals. Besides, discarding readily available, cheap and unmarked pets creates costs for local governments, which must take care of them.

"The State Inspectorate is obliged to monitor and sanction the unregistered activity of breeding pets for sale even without our reports, but we are not sure if they have responded to any of the cases. We also addressed the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to encourage them to, if necessary, supplement and clarify the regulations and to encourage the inspections to prevent unregistered activities", said the Animal Friends association.

They encourage everyone to adopt one of the many abandoned animals instead of buying them and to report unregistered animal sales.

selling puppies [ 1.12 Mb ]

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