11/19/12 Osijek's Association Victories Shelter Work In Danger

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Veterinary inspection has blocked another shelter in Croatia

- Prescribing testing high titer of antibodies for rabies may cause a system breakdown and irreparable damage

After issuing a decision to Zagreb's shelter in Dumovec, veterinary inspectors issued a report to Osijek's Association Victories shelter and blocked its work! According to the report, the shelter must stop adopting out all new animals, i.e. all of those who have not been in quarantine for six monts or have not been tested for high titer of antibodies for rabies with negative results.

Veterinary inspectors plan to add this into the new Rulebook of conditions that shelters must adhere to. This change could cause shelters to close, invalidate the good deeds done by hard-working volunteers and citizens as well as increase the number of stray animals, which really doesn't help to repress the spread of rabies.

While Europe doesn't conduct this type of testing, and many cannot even believe that this catastrophic scenario could come true, every day is worse than the previous one. Therefore, citizens are asked to help save the shelter of Association Victories, the pride of Osijek, as well as others shelters in Croatia. In order for common sense to prevail, citizens are asked to demand from the responsible Ministry, minister, and Croatian government to do a revision of the veterinary inspector's work and not to endanger an already incomplete system of animal care in Croatia.

Local communities and cities should raise their voices against regulation that causes unnecessary financial costs and complicates the legal obligation of animal care. Veterinarians and all experts in Croatia should join their foreign colleagues who are shocked by these plans and decisions that will not repress the spread of rabies due to the possible incoming increase of abandoned animals in the streets.

Members of Association Victories and the animals they care about are in a bad situation, as are the citizens of Osijek who are supporting them. They need help before it's too late! Other shelters in Croatia are also threatened by this bad situation that is already becoming a reality around the country. Now is the final moment to act.

Veterinary inspectors have been neglecting Article 23 of the Rulebook – testing high titer of antibodies for rabies and animal monitoring for six months, knowing that this article can not be implemented in practice. It's absurd that citizens can find abandoned dogs or cats, adopt them directly from the street and vaccinate them at the veterinarian, but every dog in a shelter should, according to veterinary inspection rules, go through lengthy procedure of remaining in shelter before being adopted, while the same procedure for cats is not even prescribed. By manipulating the danger of rabies, veterinary inspection could destroy the system of stray dog care and the fight against rabies.

A move of competent officials within the Ministry of Agriculture is also expected – they are already losing the public's trust because they have promised that testing high titer of antibodies for rabies will not be implemented nor be found in any form in the new Rulebook for shelters or some other regulation. Even government financing for the testing would not significantly decrease its bad consequences because of the higher expenses and unnecessary long shelter stay for many dogs associated with the proposed rule.

Citizens are asked to demand appropriate stray animal care in Croatia, the reconsideration of veterinary inspection demands, and the enablement of normal work in shelters from the Ministry of Agriculture. On web page www.mps.hr there are e-mail addresses to write to: office@mps.hr i glasnogovornik@mps.hr.

Shelter representatives will demand a urgent meeting with Minister Jakovina and are ready to activate everybody in defense of the thousand of dogs they wouldn't be able to help under the proposed rule.



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