06/07/11 A Round Table

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Due to catastrophic results in the implementation of the Animal Protection Act

Round Table for the Local Self-Government Units - Taking Care of Abandoned and Lost Animals

- Informing the local communities on the necessity of taking responsibility for abandoned animals

Although it has been four and a half years since the Animal Protection Act entered into force and two and a half years since the last legal deadline to meet its legal obligations, in most of the Croatian cities (except the city of Zagreb which sets a positive example) shelters for abandoned animals haven't been build nor have information centers and spaying/neutering, animal adoption and citizen education programs been organized.

In the last few months, the Network Against Animal Abandoning coordinators have been gathering information on taking care of dogs and cats in Croatia. They have come to catastrophic results which purport that a great number of cities and counties have not taken the proscribed duty, whose deadline has long expired (Articles 56, 57 and 58 of the Animal Protection Act).

Unmotivated local authorities leave a tremendous burden to the civil society organizations which contact the Network on a regular basis and ask for expert and legal advice. The civil organizations currently have a major role in taking care of abandoned animals. Therefore, they are doing a great part of the job they are not in charge of and for which they bear major expenses.

Informing the regional self-government is key so that the local communities' practice of ignoring legal obligations instead of taking responsibility for the problem of abandoned animals, according to legal and ethical norms, can be discontinued.

Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development is organizing a round table on the topic of taking care of abandoned and lost animals, to take place on June 7, 2011, from 10 A.M. - 13 P.M., in the Ministry hall, Ulica grada Vukovara 78, Zagreb. The representatives of the local self-government units, who have been invited to the event, will be elucidated on the obligation the local communities have according to the Animal Protection Act.

Andrea Mihaljevic, DVM, from the Veterinary Office, will be speaking about taking care of abandoned animals according to the Act. Branka Bukovic Sosic M. Sc., DVM, Head of the Animal Protection Department, will be speaking about the stray dogs control program.

Jurica Ambrozic, DVM, from the City Office for Agriculture and Forestry of the City of Zagreb will present the work city of Zagreb has done in taking care of abandoned and lost animals: the shelter's founding and its work, the information center, cooperation with associations, education programs and other measures and activities which are being implemented within the scope of the acts, regulations and the city's decision.

The representative of Animal Friends, Irena Petak, PhD, B. Sc. in Biology, will present the Network Against Animal Abandoning project and the situation regarding taking care of animals by the animal protection organizations, learning from foreign experiences and conducting surveys in city and district administrations. She will also talk about the necessity and efficiency on implementing castration programs.

In this way, the representatives of the local self-government units will receive direct information from the legislators, both from their experience and their practice, and will be provided with the opportunity to pose questions and discuss this alarming topic.

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