Animal Welfare Act from 1999
Thursday, February 25, 1999 NARODNE NOVINE No 19 - Pages 505-510
Pursuant to Article 89 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, I hereby issue the following
DECISION ON THE ENACTMENT OF THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT
I hereby enact the Animal Welfare Act, which has been passed by the House o Representatives of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia at its session held on February 5, 1999.
Number: 081 -99 - 266/1
Zagreb, February 9, 1999
of the Republic of Croatia
Dr. Franjo Tudjman
ANIMAL WELFARE ACT
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
- This Act regulates animal welfare with respect to the keeping, housing, feeding, protection and treatment animals.
- In the sense of this Act, animals shall refer to vertebrate animals, i.e.: Fishes, birds and mammals.
When used in this Act the following terms shall have the following respective meanings:
- Anaesthesia means the procedure used to render an animal unconscious;
- Tranquillisation means the compulsory procedure used before slaughter to put he animal in a state of reduced sensibility;
- Euthanasia (hereinafter referred to as: mercy killing) means the painless mercy killing performed by special means;
- The term animal holder shall mean any legal or natural person directly responsible for animal health and welfare in the capacity of owner, user or custodian;
- The term veterinarian shall mean a person having a degree in Veterinary Medicine and performing veterinarian duties in accordance with the Veterinary Medicine Act;
- The term veterinary technician shall mean a person performing technical activities in the field of veterinary medicine in accordance with the Veterinary Medicine Act;
- The term veterinary office shall mean the local entity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, established in accordance with the Veterinary Medicine Act;
- The term carrier shall mean the natural or legal entity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, established in accordance with the Veterinary Medicine Act;
- The term carrier shall mean the natural or legal person engaged in the business of transporting live animals;
- The term animal shelters shall mean the premises in which found (stray and lost) animals shall be confined for further care and possible placement in a home;
- The term pound service shall mean the service authorised for the capture of stray and lost animals, established by legal or natural persons in accordance with the provisions set forth by this Act;
- The term experiment shall mean any intervention or procedure carried out on animals for research purposes, and the experiment commences when the animal is being prepared for the test and ends with the termination of the last examination of the animal related to the experiment;
- The term stray animal shall mean an animal willingly abandoned by its holder;
- The term lost animal shall mean an animal that abandoned its holder, without any willing act of the holder, who is seeking for it.
No one may kill an animal without any reason; inflict pain or suffering to it in contravention of the provisions set forth hereunder.
The animal holder shall be obliged to feed, water, care for, hold and provide health care for the animal, subject to the species and needs of the animal.
II. ANIMAL PROTECTION DURING HOLDING AND BREEDING
The animal holder may not:
- Force the animal to work or to labour that, on account of its age or condition, is unbearable to or exceeds the strength of the animal.
- Abandon companion animals and other animals held under human supervision;
- Expose a bred or raised wild animal to the open countryside or to settle it there, if it has not been prepared for survival in such an environment;
- Inflict pain, suffering or injuries to animals during training;
- Torture, kill or injure animals during the shooting of motion pictures, commercials or similar activities;
- Test the ferociousness of the animal on another animal, to excite the animal against another, except during the training of dogs conducted by the Ministry of the Interior of the Army, excite the dog against a human being, and organise animal fights;
- Perform cosmetic surgery and surgical operations on animals, which are not stipulated as characteristic for the particular species;
- Feed the animals with other live animals, unless inevitable;
- Use live animals as hunting-bait;
- Deprive the animal of motion in a manner that inflicts pain, suffering or injury to the animal.
III. ANIMAL PROTECTION DURING HEALTH CARE PROVISION AND ZOOTECHNICAL OPERATIONS
Any surgical or zootechnical operation on animals, except those indicated in Article 7 hereunder, shall be performed with the use of anaesthesia, and shall be performed in accordance with the provisions set forth under the Veterinary Medicine Act.
The anaesthesia shall not be induced in the following cases:
- In case of risk of death, suffocation, bleeding to death and the like;
- In animal branding;
- In the castration of male pigs under one month of age;
- In the dehorning of calves and young goats under four months of age;
- In diagnostic procedures;
- In the case that the anaesthesia would cause more pain to the animal than the pain caused by the operation itself;
- In the filing of teeth and shortening tails of suckling pigs;
- In the shortening of tails of dogs under eight days of age;
- In case of shortening of beaks of poultry in intensive breeding;
- The partial or full amputation of particular parts of the animal body shall be forbidden.
- As an exception to the provision set forth under item 1 of this Article, the partial or full amputation of particular parts of the animal body shall be permitted;
- In the event that a veterinary-medical indication exists for a particular surgical operations;
- In the event of the operations as mentioned in Article 7, subitems 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9;
- For the conduction of experiments on animals for scientific-research purposes in accordance with this Act;
- When cutting the auricles of dogs of up to three months of age, provided that anaesthesia has been previously induced.
IV. ANIMAL MERCY KILLING
- The animal mercy killing may be performed when:
- The treatment of the animal would be long-lasting and distressful, and the results of the treatment being uncertain;
- The animal has reached a very advanced age and its basic vital functions are collapsing;
- The animal suffers form an incurable and/or infectious disease, especially from a disease presenting danger for human beings;
- The animal is dangerous to society;
- The term set forth under Article 26 hereunder has elapsed.
- In the cases mentioned under item 1 subitems 1 and 2 of this Article, the decision on mercy killing shall be made by the animal holder, and in the cases listed under item 1 subitems 3 and 4 of this Article, by the veterinarian.
- An animal may be subject to mercy killing only by a veterinarian or qualified veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.
V. ANIMAL PROTECTION IN CASE OF SLAUGHTER
- An animal may only be slaughtered provided that it has been tranquillised prior to bleeding to death, with the exception of the slaughter of pigs, sheep, goats, poultry, rabbits and bred game for domestic needs.
- The tranquillisation shall be performed by a mechanical or electrical method, or by the use of gas.
- The procedure with animals in slaughterhouses must be performed as follows:
- The animals to be slaughtered shall be unloaded from the transportation facility upon arrival, by using the adequate equipment, in a way which shall spare the animals anxiety, fear, pain and distress;
- Movement of the animals within the slaughterhouse to their place of confinement shall be performed with care and without causing pain, by using the adequate guiding equipment;
- The slaughterhouses must be equipped with the adequate folds or stables (enclosures), in which the animals are to be confined, sheltered from unfavourable weather conditions, fed and watered until slaughter;
- The animals must be tranquillised in the prescribed procedure immediately prior to slaughter;
- The tranquillisation procedure must put the animal in a state of insensibility and in this state they shall be slaughtered.
- The slaughter must be performed with adequate equipment.
- The use of tranquillisation means that inflict unnecessary pain shall be prohibited.
- The Minister shall stipulate the conditions for the protection of animals to be slaughtered.
VI. ANIMAL PROTECTION DURING TRANSPORTATION
- Natural and legal persons, who are registered for the conduction of such an activity, may perform the transportation of animals.
- The transportation of animals for private needs may also be performed by other natural or legal persons for their own needs, over a maximum distance of 50 km between the loading place and the unloading place.
- The restriction of distance set forth under item 2 or this Article shall not apply to pet owners, provided that the transportation thereof shall be performed with private transportation facilities, in accordance with the provisions set forth under Articles 52 and 54 of the Veterinary Medicine Act and Article 13 hereunder.
Article 13The transportation of animals shall be prohibited if such transportation shall cause animal pain, torture, diseases or death, and more particularly:
- The loading and transportation thereof in excessive hot or cold weather;
- The transportation in uncovered trucks, goods wagons or in an open-air place on a boat, where the animals are not sheltered from weather conditions;
- The transportation in covered transportation facilities, cages and packing, if ventilation has not been ensured in such facilities;
- The transportation of animals that are sensitive to high and low temperatures, if the adequate temperature is not secured during transportation;
- The transportation for which the stipulated minimal area per animal has not been secured and the transportation during which no measures have been taken to prevent animals from injuring themselves and from injuring other animals;
- The transportation if animal feeding and watering has not been secured every 12 hours, an more precisely at the station determined at the time of the loading and indicated in the veterinary documentation accompanying the animals; should the air temperature exceed 28 degrees, the animals shall be watered every 8 hours at least;
- The transportation of animals may not last longer than 12 hours, and thereafter they shall be unloaded and a rest of at least 12 hours shall be provided;
- The transportation of fish in special transportation facilities or containers, without the sufficient quantity of water, the adequate temperature and oxygen supply;
- The transportation of females in an advanced gestation stage, in the last quarter of the gestation period, and females during the first 48 hours upon parturition, unless urgent veterinarian intervention is required.
The carrier must:
- Provide special protection against dangerous and wild animals, and physical protection of dangerous and wild animals;
- Designate the person (hereinafter: the Companion) who shall take care of the safety of the animals being transported, of the watering thereof, feeding and rest during transportation, in accordance with the provisions set forth hereunder and in accordance with other regulations.
The use of objects susceptible of inflicting direct pain to animals shall be prohibited during the loading, unloading, reloading and rounding up of animals.
The Companion who may be designated by the Carrier for the performance of the activities mentioned in Article 14 subitem 2), shall be a person qualified for the performance of such activities and shall fulfil the requirements pursuant to the provisions set forth under Article 17 hereunder.
The conditions for the loading, unloading, reloading and transportation of animals which must be fulfilled by the Carrier and Companion with respect to animal protection, as well as the conditions for the training of the animal Companion shall be stipulated by the Minister.
VII. ANIMAL PROTECTION IN FARM STOCKBREEDING
In the farm stockbreeding of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, rabbits, poultry and fur-bearers and fishes, the animal holders shall be obliged to:
- Feed and water the animals every day with the sufficient quantities of health food and water;
- Keep and breed the animals in such a way as to enable sufficient feeding and watering space, to ensure the adequate exchange of humidity and air temperature, and to ensure the adequate exchange of humidity and air temperature, and to ensure the minimum daily light within the limits of prescribed technological processes;
- Keep and breed the animals in a space that shall provide sufficient mobility for the animals.
It shall be prohibited:
- To stimulate the growth of animals by adding hormonal growth substances to food;
- To use sick, injured animals or animals with a visible defect as part of a team or with a saddle.
VIII. COMPANION ANIMAL PROTECTION
- Companion animals must live in conditions suitable to their needs.
- Animals protected under the Nature Conservation Act, wild animals and animal species and breeds dangerous for the life of human beings, may not be held as Companion animals and shall be determined by special regulations.
- Companion animals shall not be sold to persons under 16 years of age.
- The list of animals referred to in item 2 of this Article shall be determined by the Minister, upon the consent of the State administration authority competent in the field of Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection.
- The list mentioned in item 4 of this Article shall be published in the Official Gazette.
IX. PROTECTION OF WILD ANIMALS IN THE WILD
Any acts, aimed at subjecting wild animals in the wild, as a population or as individual animals, to torture or preventing them from performing their physiological functions (feeding, watering, reproduction) by the use of various methods such as those listed hereunder, shall be prohibited:
- Preventing access to water through fencing, contamination, chasing away and the like;
- Destroying the whole habitat or parts thereof that are vital for the survival of a certain species;
- Introducing foreign animal species in a habitat;
- Capturing live animals and killing animals in a manner that causes long-term suffering, unless this has been explicitly justified by scientific research and in order to help a specific population;
- Other interventions with harmful consequences.
Public institutions managing the protected nature reserves, namely the beneficiaries of hunting rights, must ensure for the wild animals in their natural habitats:
- All the conditions required for the biological survival of the natural population in the scope of a balance of nature.
- The elimination of possible existing or new disturbances within the habitat;
- Veterinarian - health care
X. ANIMAL PROTECTION IN ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, CIRCUSES AND AT EXHIBITIONS
The holders of animals in zoological gardens, circuses and at exhibitions shall abide by this Act and ensure the following:
- Facilities of a size and equipped so as to suit the basic needs of each animal species, and consisting of an open-air space for exercise beside the closed space;
- Adequate food and water in the required daily quantities;
- Required veterinarian care and treatment;
- Humane treatment of animals by staff members;
- Protection of animals against visitors;
- Protection of visitors against the animals.
- A zoological garden may be established if the requirements defined in Article 23 thereunder shall be fulfilled alongside the general requirements.
- The Decision on the fulfilment of the requirements defined in item 1 of this Article shall be brought down by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (hereinafter: The Ministry).
- Circus performances with animals and animal exhibitions may be organised pursuant to the Decision on the authorisation to organise performances and exhibitions, which is brought down by the competent County Veterinary office, or the City of Zagreb, on the basis of an application and enclosed documentation on animal origin and health condition.
- Circus performances with animals and animal exhibitions may be held no earlier than seven days as of the date on which the decision mentioned in item 3 of this Article shall have become final.
- The requirements for the establishment and operation of a zoological garden, as well as the requirements for the organisation of circus performances with animals and animal exhibitions shall be stipulated by the Minister.
Conducting and performing with specially chained animals (for instance, bears) shall be prohibited.
XI. PROTECTION OF STRAY AND LOST ANIMALS
- The animals found shall be held in animal shelters and pound services.
- The employees of pound services shall collect stray and lost animals in such a way to ensure that minimal pain and suffering be caused to the animal, and shall deliver the animals to the animal shelters.
- Impounded animals, which have not been placed in a home after having been impounded for 30 days may be subject to mercy killing.
- Should a wild animal be found, the pound services or the shelter shall obligatorily submit a request to the nearest Hunting Society to return the said animal to its natural habitat, if possible, and if not the said animal shall be delivered to the nearest zoological garden equipped to receive the animal. Should the zoological garden also not be in a position to accept the animal, the animal shall be subject to mercy killing.
- Should an endangered wild animal be found the State administration authority competent in the field of Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection shall be informed, and shall decide on any further procedure.
- The special requirements for the establishment and operations of animal shelters and pound services shall be stipulated by the Minister.
XII. ANIMAL PROTECTION DURING BREEDING FOR TRADE PURPOSES
- Animal breeding for trade purposes shall be prohibited except in the case of domestic animal breeding used for farming purposes, in accordance with the Livestock Breeding Act.
- As an exception to the provision set forth under item 1 of this Article, animal breeding for the purpose of trade and sale in stores selling animals with or without a pedigree, may be allowed on the assumption that all the special requirements have been fulfilled.
- The breeding mentioned in item 2 of this Article may be performed pursuant to the Decision authorising such breeding, to be issued by the competent Veterinary Office.
- The Minister shall stipulate the special requirements referred to in item 2 of this Article.
XIII. PROTECTION OF ANIMALS FOR EXPERIMENTATION AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
- Experiments on animals may only be conducted by legal persons defined hereunder pursuant to the Decision authorising the conduction of experiments, which shall be issued by the Ministry upon prior consultations with the Ministry of Science and Technology, for the following purposes:
- Research of diseases and physical disturbances of identification of the influence of physiological and pathological conditions on human beings or animals;
- Testing of production and other characteristics and the modalities to improve them for animals in farming stockbreeding and other forms of animal breeding;
- Identification of threats to the environment;
- Testing the harmlessness of materials or products to human or animal health, efficacy against animal pests;
- Basic research;
- Educational purposes.
- The experiments on animals as mentioned in item 1 of this Article may be allowed only if the purpose of the research may not be served by other permitted scientific methods.
- Experiments on animals as mentioned in item 1 of this Article may be allowed if the assumed animal pain, suffering or injury may be ethically justified by the expected results, which are of significance for human beings or animals or rather science.
- Animals used for experimentation purposes may only be held in special facilities having a Facility Superintendent and satisfying special requirements.
- Only specific types of experiments may be conducted on the animals used for experimentation purposes.
- The special requirements for the facilities and the manner in which animals used for experimentation purposes shall be kept as well as the types of experiments shall be stipulated by the Minister.
- The holders of animals used for experimentation purposes must brand such animals and keep records thereof.
- The Minister shall define the conditions and modalities for the keeping of the recording sheets mentioned in item 1 of this Article.
The exploitation of animals for experimentation purposes shall be prohibited for the following purposes:
- Testing of weaponry, ammunition or accessories;
- Research or development of tobacco products and chemical substances for the cleaning and disinfection of consumer goods.
Experiments on animals may be conducted by University and Scientific Research institutions, as well as by qualified legal persons being duly incorporated for the conduction of experiments on animals, provided that they satisfy the prerequisites defined by the provisions of Article 28, as well as the following requirements:
- That, in spite of the extensive possibilities available, the experiment results pursued shall not be sufficiently known, or that renewed testing by double or renewed experimentation shall be indispensable;
- That they have qualified employees in accordance with the provisions set forth in Article 33 hereunder;
- That they have at their disposal the space, instruments, equipment and other means required for the conduction of experiments on animals;
- That they have at their disposal facilities for the animals used for experimentation purposes and that they may ensure the holding of such animals in the stipulated conditions, including care, protection and regular health care.
- The validity term of the experiment shall be defined in the Decision authorising the conduction of experiments on animals, and the experiment manager as well as his deputy shall also be designated therein in accordance with the applicant's request.
- The experiment manager or his deputy may be substituted upon request of the legal person conducting the experiments, and the substitution shall be determined by the Ministry in a supplementary decision.
- Experiments on animals may be conducted by veterinarians, and only as an exception by physicians, agronomists - stockbreeders, pharmacologists or biologists.
- Surgery on the animals during experimentation may be performed primarily by persons with a degree in Veterinary Medicine, and by persons with a university degree in biomedicine, agronomy (stock-breeding) or natural sciences and mathematics (biology) provided that they have passed the examination required to work with animals used for experimentation purposes.
- The programme of the examination mentioned in item 2 of this Article shall be promulgated by the Minister.
- The Superintendent of facilities for animals used for experimentation purposes must have a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
- As an exception, the Superintendent of facilities for laboratory rodents may be a person mentioned in item 1 of this Article.
Experimentation on animals for educational purposes shall be permitted only in the event that the use of other teaching aids (for example pictures, models, preparations and the like) are not likely to provide satisfactory results, whereby only one such animal may be used by group in a regular procedure.
- If the duration of the experimentation on animals is envisaged to exceed the authorised duration, the prolongation thereof shall be reported to the Ministry seven days prior to the expiry of the authorised period.
- The report mentioned in item 1 of this Article shall indicate:
- The reasons for the prolongation of the experiment;
- The species and quantity of animals envisaged;
- The place, beginning and expected duration of the prolongation of the experiment;
- The name and address of the responsible experiment manager and his deputy.
- If several experiments of the same type shall be prolonged, it shall be sufficient to report one of them, and to indicate the quantity of other experiments therein. At the end of each year, the quantity of experiments conducted and quantity of animals used must be reported to the Ministry.
- In the event of a change in the date mentioned in item 2 of this Article in the course of the experiment, such changes must be reported to the Ministry within three days, unless the change is of no importance for the supervision of the experiment.
- The experiment manager or his deputy shall be held responsible for the respect of the provisions of this Article during the conduction of experiments on animals.
- Records shall be kept on the conduction of experiments on animals.
- The records must be signed by the person who conducted the experiments, and by the experiment manager. The notes shall be filed with the records and shall be kept for three years, and must be presented to the Ministry upon request thereof.
- The Ministry shall perform the administrative supervision of the implementation of this Act.
- The Ministry and the State Inspectorate shall ensure the inspection supervision pursuant to this Act.
- The inspection supervision shall be performed by veterinary inspectors from the Ministry, namely by stock-breeding inspectors of the State Inspectorate, in accordance with the rights and obligations defined by veterinary medicine regulations, or stock-breeding regulations respectively.
XV. PENAL PROVISIONS
- A fine of 5.000 to 10.000 Kunas shall be imposed on a legal or natural person pursuant to a misdemeanour in the case of:
- Performance of any acts in contravention of Article 5 items 1, 3, 6 and 8 hereunder;
- Performance of the mercy killing of animals in contravention of Article 9 item 1 hereunder;
- Stimulation of the animal growth by adding hormonal growth substances to food (Article 19 subitem 1);
- Holding of animals protected by the Nature Conservation and Wild Animals Protection Act as companion animals (Article 20 item 2);
- Use of animals used for experimentation purposes in contravention of Article 30 hereunder;
- Conduction of experiments and other scientific research on animals in contravention of Article 31 item 2 hereunder;
- For the misdemeanour mentioned in item 1 of this Article, a fine of 3.000 to 5.000 Kunas shall also be imposed on the responsible person of the legal person.
- A fine of 2.500 to 5.000 Kunas shall be imposed on a legal or natural person pursuant to a misdemeanour in the case of:
- Performance of any act in contravention of Article 5 items 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 hereunder;
- Slaughter of animals in contravention of Article 10 hereunder;
- Treatment of animals in slaughterhouse in contravention of Article 11 hereunder;
- Treatment of animals during transport in contravention of Articles 13 and 14 hereunder;
- Treatment of animals in contravention of Article 18 hereunder;
- Treatment of wild animals in contravention of Article 21 hereunder;
- Any act in contravention of Article 23 hereunder;
- The requirements defined in Article 24 hereunder have not been fulfilled;
- Breeding of animals for trade purposes in contravention of Article 27 item 1 hereunder;
- Conduction of experiments on animals in contravention of Article 28 hereunder;
- Conduction of experiments on animals in contravention of Article 33 items 1, 2 and 4 hereunder;
- Conduction of experiments in contravention of Article 34 hereunder.
- For the misdemeanour mentioned in item 1 of this Article, a fine of 500 to 1 000 Kunas shall also be imposed on the responsible person of the legal person.
XVI. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
The Minister shall promulgate the implementing regulations pursuant to the authority vested hereunder within six months as of the effective date of this Act.
The municipalities, cities, counties and the City of Zagreb shall be due to take care of providing for stray and lost animals, and to encourage the establishment of shelters and pound services
This Act shall become effective eight days upon the publication thereof in the Official Gazette.
Zagreb, February 5, 1999
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
of the House of Representatives
of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia
Vladimir Seks, B.LL.