Following is a letter to Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, signed by 59 animal protection organizations
To Ministry of Agriculture and Evrironmental Protection
WE DEMAND IMPLEMENTATION, NOT CHANGE OF THE LAW
In occasion of the Draft of Law on Alterations and Amendments to the Animal Welfare Law, which is in the phase of making at the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, we hereby demand what is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia:
- That changing parts of the law considering abandoned animals population control must not be allowed, since there is a silent consent of authorities that the law should not be implemented in the first place. To withdraw any changes to the Law (direct or indirect regulations) which imply killing of animals as a way to solve the abandoned animals issue.
- To implement the existing Law fully.
- To make a possibility for citizen organizations across Serbia - the civil society, to get involved in the process of creating and implementing the Law in parts about animal welfare, and especially about solving the abandoned animals issue, so we can achieve a sustainable, humane and efficient solution, and in accordance with the conclusion of the Government of Republic of Serbia 05 no. 011-8872/2014 (26th of August 2014.), which defines guidelines for involvement of CSOs in the regulation adoption process.
The abandoned animals issue is not getting solved because the Animal Welfare Law, for the most part, was not conducted:
- No animal owner has been punished for abandoning an animal, and unentered pets produce the largest proportion of street animals;
- Convictions for the offense of animal abuse and killing are scarce;
- Most of the local governments have not passed the Stray animals population control Program, as obliged by the Animal Welfare Law, nor have they begun applying the existing Law
- Most of the local governments do not have shelters as the Law demands
- Most of the local governments still use euthanasia as a population control method, despite the fact that it is forbidden by the Law (and what the Constitutional court confirmed), and do not bear responsibility for it
- Most of the local governments do not have the required cooperation with animal welfare non-government organizations, despite the fact that these organizations posses experience and knowledge in the field of solving the abandoned animals issue, which are the key to the solution, if there is an intention to make a solution.
It can't be stated that the Law is not efficient in solving the abandoned animals issue, because the state management is one that is not efficient in implementing the Law, which can be implemented. If the state administration would implement the law, there would be no abandoned animals! It would be a humane approach worthy of civilization progress, because the killing will not reduce the numbers of animals in the streets.
Analysis done by World Health Organization showed that euthanasia as a method of population control is insecure and does not deliver desired results. Killing of street dogs and cats can't bring upon the solution, because the cause of the problem is not being solved - the irresponsible ownership. Soon after putting away all street animals, streets would yet again be crowded with unneutered and non-vaccinated animals. The resistance to euthanasia is evident from local and larger community, because it is inhumane and cruel treatment of sentient beings, and there is a more humane alternative.
Because of everything stated above, we demand that prior to any version of the Draft of Law on Alterations and Amendments to the Animal Welfare Law , the stated Conclusion of Serbian Government is respected, and to organize meetings with representatives of the organisations singed below so they could be included in the process of drafting the law, since a common goal is to solve the abandoned animals issue.