In the National Parliament of Republic of Serbia, on 8th of April 2015, the fourth Green Deputy Forum has been held, organized by deputy Ivan Karić. Suggestions for the sustainable systemic solution of the stray pets issue were presented by the societies Link Plus, Feniks and Hope For Animals – Riska. Representatives of the Small Practice Veterinarians Society and Academy of Cynology also joined the discussion.
The conclusions were:
- To organize public hearing at the Parliament, which would open a public debate about resolving the issue, with participation of public authorities and local governments, zoohygienic offices, civil society organizations, and citizens.
- The necessity to implement and advance laws and regulations – to protect ruling of the law and anti-corruption.
- The necessity to adjust the regulations and lessen the differences between local governments
- The necessity to include CSOs in regulation adoption processes.
- The necessity to adopt National strategy of solving abandoned animals issue and to identify all interested parties.
for the sustainable systemic solution of the stray pet animals issue
Recommendations were based on WHO recommendations for animal health OIE and on the Declaration of European Parliament (0026/2011), with regulations of European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and the International Companion Animals Management Coalition (ICAM).
1) Abandoned pet animals problem must be viewed as an important social issue which demands sustainable, systemic, efficient a humane solution.
2) Change of the paradigm: shifting focus on the cause of the problem, because it is people's behavior that generates it, above all the uncontrolled breeding and abandonment of pet animals.
3) Examples of good practice of the sustainable systemic solution of the problem are countries which don't use killing as a method – Germany, Austria and Netherlands
4) State authorities should cooperate with other interested parties, as obliged by law, and CSOs should be included in the regulation adoption.
5) Application of regulations, of the implementation of regulations and advancement of legislation are of essential importance:
- Application of regulations: Most local governments did not adopt bylaws (decisions about keeping pets, and control programs to reduce the numbers of stray dogs and cats), or are not aligned with the Veterinary Law and Animal Welfare Law, had not built shelters for abandoned pets, the problem is not solved in an organized manner.
- Control: Control the implementation of the provisions of the Veterinary Act relating to pets and the Animal Welfare Law is to be implemented solely by veterinary inspectors. Veterinary inspectors should receive all the necessary training on the assessment of the welfare of pets and pet shelters.
- Advancement: Animal Welfare Law contains certain provisions that open the way to possible abuse, as well as provisions that do not follow the penal provisions; there is space for improvement.
6) State authorities:
- Stimulation of positive behavior (spaying/neutering).
- De-stimulation of negative behavior (abandonment, uncontrolled reproduction, abuse, endangering welfare).
- Control of dog and cat transport (national and international level)
- Control of zoohygienic services
7) Local governments
- Building the infrastructure – objects, vehicles
- Shelters for accommodation of animals whose survival on the street is endangered because they are too old, too young, or sick, as well as dogs who bite.
- CNR (Catch-Neuter-Return), with medical treatment of animals provided.
- Stimulation of adoption of abandoned pets from shelters or directly form the street
8) Breeders profession
- Legal framework
- Strict separation between breeders and pet owners
9) Pet owners
- Responsible ownership: micro-chipping and registration of dogs and cats, vaccination, reproduction prevention (spaying and neutering).
- Responsible ownership: education of owners; dogs and owners training; control
10) Doctors of veterinary medicine role
- Participation in drafting regulations
- Development of professional protocols
- Strengthening the capacity of veterinary organizations
- Education and control of pet owners
- Participation in the development of regulations
- Capacity building of CSOs and guardians
- Increasing the capacity of local governments and zoohygienic services
- Educating pet owners
12) The Public Procurement
- Control of public procurement