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by Emil Kuzmanov
Sunday, Dec. 03, 2006 at 4:16 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org 18 Yanko Sofiiski Voivoda Str., 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
Few weeks before Bulgarian accession to EU we are still witness to worsening the animal protection legislation taken by the Government.
Since 1990 in Bulgaria there is an ongoing process of unchecked mass breeding, offering and straying of unregistered cats and dogs; their mass disappearing as a result of "pick & collection" and last but not least their systematic abuse. The large-scale of unrestricted habitual home breeding goes on animated by the misconception about the cruel destiny for the better part of the "steady-bred" animals and to their end use; also by the illusion, that control by "no-kill policy" could be fully accomplished through sterilization of all unwanted animals plus the ban to their killing.
In the cat and dog protection field up to May 1st of 2006 in Bulgaria there were in effect the obligations of the 1999 Veterinarian Act. In year 2000 it was appended the Governmental Rule and some of the appendices are in effect in the present.
In 2004 Bulgaria ratified The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, binding itself to make an extra and effective effort of bringing about improvements in this field.
In 2003 and 2004 Animal Programs has pointed out to the Bulgarian Government numerous simple but effective measures, some included and some not in the active at that time ordinance, but no adequate reaction followed.
Instead, in 2005 the Bulgarian Parliament voted in a new Veterinary Act, which prohibits laboratory use of owned, strayed and feral cats and dogs, as well as population reduction by killing; but avoided to include an effective restraining measures for their mass amateur breeding and offering. Meanwhile it delegated the enforcement part of the pet-registration process to the municipalities.
In last months the Parliament initiated procedure to debate a fully separate Animal Protection Bill introduced by Mrs. Vanya Tsvetkova MP and a group of representatives. At the same time the Minister of Agriculture is also "making an effort" in this direction through some of the popular SPCAs publishing and promoting on the internet a draft for similar to the above Bill. In regards to cats and dogs the authors of the two drafts are asserting their intentions for banning "kill-control" of both populations; in the debated by the Parliament Bill there is also a provision for banning the experimental use of cats and dogs.
But again both drafts are not including effective preventive measures for curbing the breeding and offering of them, measures that will lead to stabilization of population shift. We have a clear knowledge of the true problem exist plus basic solutions for it. We are familiar with The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and numerous RSPCA publications; also with Guidelines for Dog Population Management (a join paper of World Health Organization and the WSPA); as well as with "no-kill solutions" designed by Mr. Peter Marsh of New Hampshire.
- In the programs for education of the pet owners/lovers there is no provided place for moral discouraging of the amateur breeding and trade.
- There is no provided public service for the owners, including low-cost sterilization of the pet animals.
- There are no provided timely marking of all pet animals by microchips, permanent registration of all the owners, and effective registration of the change of the ownership. There is no provided obligatory acompaniing documentation for the animals for every case. The enfocement of the registration regime was postponed after the preparation by the Minister of a National Program for Dog Counting and Registration.
- There is no provided strict licensing control over breeders and traders. The establishment of such control is connected with the future creation of the separate Rules by the Goverment. So the unlicensed, "domestic" breeding still exists.
- There is no provided control over the activities connected with the collection and transportation/traffic of the free roaming animals, including lost ones.
- There are opportunities for different reading and overlaping of the deffinitions, wrights and obligations (shelter - protected zone; National Commission for the Protection of Animals - Inspection of NVS - Zoo-Police - Police - few Ministries).
Few weeks before Bulgarian accession to EU we are still witness to worsening legislation taken by the Government in this field (e.g. like trying to adapt a whole new Act neglecting the European Council's Convention and European Commission's Regulation №998/2003). Such an Act won't bring the percentage of the sterilized animals up, as well as restriction to movement, collection and abuse of high number of healthy cats and dogs. It will be ineffective regarding to their protection and welfare.
Animal Programs sincerely aims that Bulgarian institutions engaged in this process will vote and enact a lot better working and effective measures in the new Act. In november 10 2006, in a letter to the President of the Republic and the Agricultural Parliamentary Committee we insisted that pointed by us shortcomings in the regulations are to be taken under consideration and be overcome in the drafting of the new Bill. We've also suggested that the new texts are to be composed with the help of reputable and well skilled in this matter people.
By failing to do so will make us think more so that Bulgarian institutions are colluding with black-marketers in their revolting industry. It's revolting to us watching the team efforts of media and habitual local SPCAs (most popular as "nature-defenders") to water down the above mentioned process.
I alone can't change the strangely kept by Bulgarian institutions trend. Here all my efforts in last years are being thwarted and ignored. Here and why I call on the world community and concerned institutions alike to boycott the meetings of all Bulgarian officials abroad and also limit visits to Bulgaria till enactment and enforcement of a modern low takes an effect, one which will guarantee the animal's protection and welfare.
I plead to you: Please, limit your official contacts of Bulgarian authorities and avoid the unofficial ones. I dare all world known artists, actors, musicians, entertainers and scientists to shun away Bulgarian venues too. I appeal to be avoided organization and visiting of international forums in Bulgaria, all congresses, seminars, conferentions, symposiums, expositions and sport contests.
I urge you to write reproachful and demanding letters, faxes and e-mails to the following Bulgarian officials responsible for this disaster situation (please, see below short list of contacts):
Emil Kuzmanov, founder
The Animal Programs Foundation (Bulgaria)
List of responsible officials:
Mr Georgi Parvanov
President of the Republic of Bulgaria
2 Dondukov Blvd
Tel: +359 2 9239333
Contact form: http://www.president.bg/en/contacts.php>
Mr Nihat Kabil
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
55 Hristo Botev Blvd
Phone: +359 2 9811896; 985-11-226
Phone/Fax: +359 2 9806256
Mr Vassil Kalinov
Chairman of the Agriculture and Forestry Parliamentary Committee
1 Kniaz Al. Batenberg Square
Phone: +359 2 9871758
Fax: +359 2 9872441
Mrs Vanya Tsvetkova (author of the draft)
Head of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
1 Kniaz Al. Batenberg Square
Phone: +359 2 9393469; 9393008; 9392133; 9393247; 9862759
Fax: +359 2 9875011
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