Photo credit: Animal Friends Croatia
Last month, the Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic hosted an open door event dedicated to ‘Adopt, don’t shop!’ campaign. Initiated by Animal Friends Croatia and the country’s network of 40 animal protection organisations, the event was an opportunity to report on the implementation of the new Animal Protection Act that came into force a year ago.
Activists said that the new Animal Protection Act, with all its novelties, gives a good foundation for animal protection – especially regarding dogs and cats. However, in practice, the law will need closer cooperation of the competent ministry, communal custodians, veterinary inspectors, vets, responsible actors in communities, towns and counties, animals protection groups, institutions, and all citizens, in order to start making a difference for the animals.
On the topic of animal adoption, president Grabar-Kitarovic pointed out that rescuing animals in need is socially a much more responsible behavior than buying. Leading by example, she adopted a rescued dog from the local shelter just a week before the event and used the opportunity to introduce her puppy Kika to the public, hoping to inspire Croatian citizens to follow.
Luka Oman, president of Animal Friends Croatia and special adviser to Croatian minister of agriculture, said that the president’s honourable act certainly sends a strong message. ‘If all people who think about buying would adopt a rescued dog, as the president did, shelters would be empty’.
Stela Cota, head of the national animal protection network, commented that the event and president’s act present a great support to adoption, responsible custodianship and to all organisations struggling to improve human behavior towards animals every day. As a thank you for the noble act president Grabar-Kitarovic received a dog adoption starters kit; feeding bowl, collar and a dog toy.
This event shows the need to provide better protection for our companion animals, fitting in Eurogroup for Animals’ EU wide campaign EU, Care for Our Companions. Companion animals’ protection remains a competence of Member States and their welfare is not considered as a priority for the European Union. Although Croatia is now giving a positive example, protection for companion animal welfare at the national level vary greatly, with some countries where this is completely disregarded by governments and competent authorities.
Read the full story here.