12/16/22 Parliament passed the Law on Animal Health

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Animal Friends Croatia welcomes the obligation to microchip dogs before sale and adoption

- They proposed microchipping of dogs up to the 60th day and labeling of cats and protective vaccinations in breeding

Parliamentary representatives yesterday voted for the Animal Health Act, which repeals 60 regulations of the national legislation related to animal health and ensures the implementation of a series of European Union regulations. The biggest positive news, welcomed by Animal Friends Croatia is the obligation to tag dogs with a microchip "before moving them for the purpose of changing ownership".

"This means that every puppy, regardless of whether it is adopted or sold, must be microchipped beforehand and its guardians can be tracked from the beginning. This is extremely important because any unmarked dog sooner or later can end up on the street and then it is impossible to find its guardian. Then the dog's care in a shelter depends on the local budget," Animal Friends Croatia emphasizes. They add that they regularly call on cities and municipalities to implement the legally prescribed systematic and continuous control of dog microchipping to avoid an increase in the number of abandoned dogs and the costs of their care.

During the public debate on the proposal of the Animal Health Act, Animal Friends Croatia suggested that the time for tagging dogs be shortened from the current 90 to 60 days because there are no legal or health obstacles for this, and it is supported by the Department of Small Practice Veterinarians of Croatia (OVMPH). They explain that dog guardians usually come to the vet for the first time when their puppy turns three months old, when the law requires a rabies vaccination, although the two have nothing to do with each other. A part of dog owners still avoids vaccination and microchipping. It is their irresponsibility and violation of the law that causes the increase in the number of abandoned animals, which are largely taken care of by animal protection associations, or their care is a financial burden for local self-government units.

Animal Friends Croatia also proposed that all cats in pet breeding intended for sale must be marked with a microchip before the change of ownership. "Although we believe that all cats should be tagged, we are aware that free-living cats cannot be tagged. That's why, before marking foster cats, we suggest as a first step declaring mandatory the marking of cats before the sale, so that there is traceability for every animal from the moment of the start of breeding".

Another one of their proposals was that microchip marking should be the exclusive way of marking ungulates, and that physical marking (hot stamping, cold stamping, and tattooing) should be completely prohibited. Due to causing severe pain and suffering to animals, many countries have already banned the so-called hot stamping of horses, but also of other animals, and the prohibition of this practice is also sought by veterinary organizations.

Animal Friends Croatia wanted this law to prescribe the obligation to treat parasites and preventive protective vaccinations for puppies and kittens in breeding to protect the health of animals, so that it would be the obligation of all breeders, and not, as is the case now, only for those who are members of a kennel and felinological associations. This would act preventively in the direction of protecting dogs and cats from the most common infectious diseases.

Translated by: Vito Čubrilo

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