Suggestions for Alterations and Amendments of the Animal Protection Act 2015

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The Ministry of Agriculture in 2015 will bring new alterations and amendments of the Animal Protection Act trying to exclude chinchilla raising for fur from the existing animals breeding for fur prohibition.

Although the exploiting practice towards animals depends on the readiness of the individuals to change their habits and to live by respecting other animals' lives on earth, Animal Friends is once more actively involved with remarks and suggestions on the modifications of the Animal Protection Act in order to give the animals greater legislative protection than the existing one.

Animal Friends demands the following alterations of the Animal Protection Act:

Protection of the cephalopoda

Article 2, item 1, reads:

This Act applies to all the vertebrates and cephalopoda used for the scientific researches.

Animal Friends proposes:

This Act applies to all the vertebrates and cephalopoda.

Commentary: We believe that the Act should be applied to all the cephalopoda, not only those that are used for scientific researches. The researches has proved that the invertebrates, especially cephalopoda like octopus, squid and the like, are capable of feeling pain so it makes clear that the Act must secure their protection in general, not only in experiments.

In July 2012 a group of cognitive and computer neuroscientists, neuroanatomists, neuropharmacologists and neurophisiologists from the Cambridge University wrote and signed the "Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness" which officially confirms the fact that animals like mammals, birds, and many others, including octopuses, have the same neurological supstrates that create consciousness, just like people do. This declaration is available in English at http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf.

Regarding the use of cephalopoda and other animals for scientific research we would like to emphasize that in March 2015, more than 150 members of Academy, intelectuals and writers, including the Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, in the last report of a working group of the Center for animal ethics, University of Oxford, entitled "Normalization of the unthinkable," has come to conclusion that the experiments on animals are scientifically and morally wrong, which lead to the "denormalization" of the experiments on animals. This is the most extensive criticism of animal experiments ever published, with a lot of relevant scientific data and examples.

The whole report is available in English at http://www.oxfordanimalethics.com/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/Normalising-the-Unthinkable-Report.pdf.

Therefore we think justified and necessery that the Act should protect cephalopoda in general, for they can feel pain, regardless of in which area and for what purpose the human exploit, hurt and kill them.

Ban on animal fights and stage onslaught

The Animal Protection Act forbids animal fights, stimulating agressiveness, as well as provoking animal to attack another animal or human. This rule must have no excuse, as these barbarian and primitive ways of entertainment should evolve into modern performances with no animal abuse, that is with no animal fights or other ways of abusing animals that are so wrongly called traditional

Ban on permanent keeping of dogs on chains

As the Animal Protection Act regulates animal abuse protection, there must be specific prohibition of keeping dog on chain permanently.This action is abuse not only physical but also mental and may lead to aggressive behaviour. In addition no other animal species should ever be permanently tied or restrained and should have at least a daily break and exercise

Ban on keeping dolphins in captivity

Animal Friends suggests that the Animal Protection Act forbids keeping dolphins in captivity, except for ill and injured individuals temporarily keeping for purpose of healing, recovering and returning to the natural environment. The Republic of Croatia protects free dolphins so it is very important that it prohibits captivity of these sea mammals. Captivity prohibition of the cetacea sea mammals, dolphins being part of which, is especially important, knowing their scientifically proved high intelligence level, their complex community life and specific way of mutual communication. Even with very strong regulations it is hardly possible to secure enough good enough conditions for these animals, for which the particular captivity prohibion is more than needed

Live animal stores selling animals for human consumption

Although the Animal Protection Act regulates animal protection and wellfare in case of animal ownership, it does not prohibit selling and killing of live animals for human consumption in stores, which is becoming a common issue in a bigger number of stores. We belive that the Act would not allow stores to open i.e. "small farms" of live chickens where they would be slaughtered. The same should apply to store departments containing fresh fish

Ban on using horses for dragging wood

Terrible scenes of horses with open wounds who every day dragg wood out of forest and horses that collapse unnder the weight of this tremendous burden show us the necessity of protecting horses from physical work above and beyond their capabilities. This can result in heavy falls, injuries and broken necks. It all happens in the woods, far away from the view, where the inspection is unable to control the horse treatement, so it is vital to make such a law regulation

Ban on rodent catching and killing by glue

No doubt glue traps are of the most cruel ways of catching and killing animals. They tear skin, fur and feather form the animals' bodies while they try to escape, some animals even bite or break own legs in order to set themselves free. The glue is irritating and eye damaging. Animals suffer several days until they die of hunger or dehydration. Noses, mouth or beaks may stick in the glue so the animals suffocate and die slowly, which may last for hours. The animals are insufficiently protected only by general regulation of the Animal Protection Act, therefore it is urgent to definitely prohibit such a cruel practice

Obligation to assist injured animals

The Animal Protection Act stands that "Any person who injures an animal must render assistance to the animal as may be necessary and if he/she is not able to do it himself/herself he/she must arrange for assistance to be provided." The animals are most often hurt on streets, and the driver just drives on. If there is someone who wants to help the injured animal but has no money for treatement (which is almost always the case) no veterinary emergency is ready to take the injured animal. Therefore it is necessery that the Act regulates that, if it is not possible to identify who injured the animal, help must be organized and provided by local government...

Companion animals breeding control

The existing Animal Protection Act provisions regarding breeding control of animals with guardians should be alterate so as to secure that the guardians have the animals castrated. Abandoned and deserted animals are far too many in number and they are great financial burden for the local government and citizens, therefore their irresponsible guardians should be penalized if they do not take care of the young of their animals

Breeding of companion animals

The Animal Friends Croatia association is completely opposed to breeding and selling animals as well as their exploitation and the manipulation of their reproductive systems. However, with citizens' current state of awareness and existing pet breeders in mind, it is necessary to register anyone engaged in pet breeding and selling animals, regardless of the number of "breeding females," because...

Ban on keeping and using all animals in circuses

The Animal Protection Act forbids "to keep wild animals in circuses and use them in circus performances and other performances involving animals." Keeping animals in circuses, no, matter domestic, companion or wild animals means animal abuse, forced into unnatural behaviour, training for regular performances, constant relocation and transportation. The law should prohibit keeping all the animals in circuses, as well as using wild animals in animal performances

Non-profit nature of animal shelters

The Act should regulate that the animal shelters be non-profit. Thus the shelters would be managed by associations, institutions and civil services. Consequently these organisations would be easily monitered and have a vested interest in running an efective operation. With no interest in making profity, negligence of anmal welfare and rigorous implementation of the act, the funds provided by the city could be spent purely on aiding animals without filling the coffers of private organisations and investors

Penalties for not establishing animal shelters

The Animal Protection Act regulates that animal shelters are organized and financed by local or regional government units, while "the activities of collecting abandoned and lost animals shall be financed by units of local self-government." In spite of that, many local government units, since 2007, the year of the Animal Protection Act, have not done so, which is evidently breaking the law. It is vital to regulate penalties so that the local government units keep the law and start to implement it at last

Advertising of abandoned animals in shelters

The dogs from veterinarian stations and shelters are inadequately or not at all advertising for housing, which makes finding them a house major problem. A house can be found for every animal, even old, injured/defected, if properly promoted. Although the Animal Protection Act regulates that the animal shelter must "make effort to locate the owner or provide housing for lost and abandoned animals," it is necessary to emphasize that the housing is advertised by the means of public communication

Ban on killing animals in shelters

The Animal Protection Act regulates fostering of abandoned animals, veterinary care, promoting, housing and education, which is the only and proper way to solve the problem. Possibility of killing the animals after 60 days is awkward and must be banned. Apart from unethical issue, toleration of killing stimulate those who want to profit on fostering animal spending tax-payers money on lousy implementation of the Animal Protection Act

Ritual slaughter

Preposterous law regulation in the legislation of the European Union, as well as of Croatia, regulates for slaughterhouses obligatory stunning, in respect to scientifically proved suffering and pain that animals feel during slaughtering. The same regulation does nor refer to so called ritual slaughter done by some religious communities, during which the agony of the animal is extended till bleed to death. Croatian legislation should protect the animals and take into consideration contemporary scientific beliefs and political moves of European countries with numerous religious communities who practice ritual slaughtering with no stunning and yet they have abandon or are trying to abandon such inhuman and brutal practice that has no place in civilized world...

Zoophilia

General Animal Protection Act regulation that prohibits "to force animals into a behavior that causes them pain, suffering, injury or fear," may be ambiguously interpretated and misused. The zoophiles will, abusing animals' natural instincts, claim that the animal was not forced to copulate, but it was its own wish, and doing so it did not feel pain, suffer, injury or fear. Therefore sexual intercourse with animals must be clearly and unmistakably prohibited and penalized by law, as is in European countries

Positive List of exotic animals

Animal Friends is against raising and selling animals of every species and supports housing of abandoned animals. Because it is at this moment impossible to forbid exotic animals trade, the Positive List (list of allowed species) is the most effective and efficient measure for lessening the sufferings of the exotic animals which are kept inadequately as companion animals in Europe, which is particularly important because of the free trade market of exotic animals in the European countries

Members of committees

Animal Friends suggests that a representative of the Ethics Department, Philosophical Sector, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb be a member of Ethical Commision, so that an ethicist be a part of the Commission, and that a representative of Office for animal wellfare of Croatian veterinarian institute be a part of Commission for animal protection as well

Ban on chinchillas and other animals raise for fur

In the paper addressed to the Croatian Parliament in February 2015, Minister Jakovina said that the alterations of the Animal Protection Act will allow raising of chinchillas for fur purposes. In the paper, which is kept away from public, it is evident that Commission for the Act alterations, the Government and the Parliament must only, due to form, validate the previously passed resolution, which makes this attempt to put the law back greatly scandalous. Chinchilla raising for furs is in Croatia the only known fur raising, so that Minister Jakovina's attempt to exclude chinchilla raise from the existing regulations of prohibition on raising animals for fur purposes is additional mocking of the legislative system of the Republic of Croatia, the process of law bringing and the citizens' will...

Ban on punishment devices for animal behavior

Expert opinion of Irena Petak, Sc.D., on using devices and gadgets for animal punishment in Croatia is available here.

Keeping of more than nine dogs

We commend the initiative that the owners of a large number of animals should ensure adequate keeping conditions for dogs. However, we propose in this legal provision that the number of dogs, for which the owners must meet the requirements equal to those in shelters, should be increased to 20. In fact, in practice it may happen that a person has a large property and better conditions for keeping 15 dogs than someone else for three dogs. When it comes to the welfare of an animal, in this case the crucial thing should be the ability to provide adequate...

Ban on grinding up live animals

Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (current text, NN (The Official Gazette), no. 83/2011) requires that chicks up to 72 hours of age and embryos in eggs are submitted to instantaneous grinding up of the entire animal, or so called maceration. This standard procedure in egg industry is extremely cruel because alive animals are submitted to being ground up, while experiencing excrutiating pain. Animal Protection Act, as a general law that should protect animals from suffering and pain, should ban this unethical practice, abhorrent to a civilized society and human standards of the...

Horse Logging Competitions

Horse logging competitions ("slajs" or "straparijade") are held in Lic in Gorski Kotar, Baške Ostarije and in other parts of Lika-Senj Couty, Karlovac County, Bater near Novi Vinodolski and other parts of Croatia. For the purpose of these events, they obtain logs up to one tone heavy, and individually or in pairs, horses carry these enormous logs, very often...

Professions Allowed To Test On Animals

Our suggestions and opinions are based on the Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (OJ L 276, 20.10.2010), implemented by the means of the Animal Protection Act, as well as all other EU documents that allow animal testing in the case of certain professions. As for the educational purposes, there is an entire hierarchy of methods that need to be properly inspected before allowing...

Branding of Livestock

In Croatia marking equidae with a microchip has been prescribed since 2009, but hot-iron branding has still remained legal, although it is an unreliable, unnecessary, obsolete and inhumane way of marking animals and establishing property rights. Also, although livestock is being earmarked, bulls are exempt from this provision, if intended for participation in cultural or sport events, where, apart from earmarks, they are to be marked with a branding iron as well. There is no medical or scientific justification for this provision, while...

Adoption of Animals After Experiments

We consider that an animal bred for use in experiments should be offered for adoption before it is put to sleep. Adoption is allowed by the Directive 2010/63/EU and is regulated in some legislation's. More information is available on the web page of the...

Ban On Dog Racing

We would like to stress that betting is not the only problem. There is also the possibility of manipulation and using animals in sport competitions where priority is given to speed winning, while the welfare of animals is pushed to the background. When dogs are used for the purpose of achieving the best results, their health and welfare fall to the second place. We believe that the proposed definition would cover both races for profit and for speed (regardless of the absence of monetary rewards), as such races may involve the administration of stimulants, injuries, killing of dogs who...

Giving Land For Building Shelters

As it is often the case, that the local government does not have a land to buld a shelter on, and that it is a real problem which makes the law enforcement more difficult, during the work of the Commission for amendments to the Animal Protection Act 2015/2016, we supported the suggestion of the representative of the Zagreb City Office for...

Permanent Removal of an Animal From the Owner's Custody

During the work of the Committee for the Amendment of the Animal Protection Act 2015/2016, we proposed amendments to Articles 64 and 65: permanent instead of temporary removal of an animal from the custody of its owner or keeper, andnot to wait for the animal to be injured for the second time or killed to remove it from the custody of its owner or keeper or to prohibit...

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