02/08/11 Companies Illegally Euthanize Dogs and Collect Local Government Compensations

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Relative to its query sent to all the Croatian counties regarding the enforcement of the Animal Protection Act, Animal Friends received in January a written reply from the Medjimurje County Prefect's Office and the Environment Protection and Municipal Services Department.

The said reply shows that in 2009 and 2010 the companies "Bioinstitut" from Cakovec and "Veterinary Station Prelog" from Prelog were contracted to collect and provide care for animals, even though they lacked the required permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, and despite failing to meet the criteria and the conditions prescribed by the Animal Shelter Regulations.

According to the data at our disposal, there is a reasonable suspicion that the aforementioned institutions have obtained illegal profits by signing contracts for collecting and providing care for abandoned animals, in spite of not being registered for such activities. Furthermore, they put dogs to death against the Law, without meeting all the requirements for that activity; they euthanize dogs at their owners' request, which is also against the Law; they do not keep all the required records, thereby committing numerous misdemeanours punishable by the Animal Protection Act and also the felony of fraud with the intent of obtaining illegal profits, punishable by the Penal Code.

As the data from the report issued by Medjimurje County show, in 2009 the aforementioned institutions collected 259 animals, 190 of which were collected by "Bioinstitut" from Cakovec, and 69 by "Veterinary Station Prelog." The latter also removed three dogs from the area belonging to the Dubrava Hydroelectric Power Plant and euthanized 29 dogs at their owners' requests. The total funds paid by the local authorities to the aforementioned institutions in 2009 amounted to 99,576.00 kuna.

Seeing that the aforementioned institutions lack an animal shelter, there is a reasonable suspicion that the animals collected were euthanized immediately or soon after being caught. The Animal Protection Act prohibits killing abandoned animals, unless the legal requirements for such an action are met. It is also forbidden to put a healthy animal to death at its owner's request.

Animal Friends hereby reiterates its appeal to the local authorities to responsibly enforce the Animal Protection Act regarding the care of abandoned animals and to entrust such care exclusively to the institutions in possession of relevant permits from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, allowing them to operate a shelter for abandoned animals, as this is the fundamental prerequisite for the involvement in animal care.

Animal Friends and the Network Against Animal Abandoning support the enforcement of the Animal Protection Act and the setting up of abandoned animals shelters which will not kill the animals, but instead implement the programs for caring, castrating, housing and education.

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