What are the reasons for The Animal Protection Law not to work

31.07.13 / Stray Animals

(illustrated with a particular case from Botevgrad municipality)

In October 2012 we took pictures how homeless dogs are being caught and logged with iron loops in Botevgrad. Our pictures and our comments were published in the local press - Opens external link in new windowhere.
Translation of the artivle:
 Botevgrad municipality hired two Roms to catch dogs, would-be for castration. They are being paid (according to unconfirmed information) for a caught dog. Both of them chase dogs with wire loops. After the frightened dog is being caught, the wire loop tightens like a gibbet and the dog is being dragged to the veterinary hospital for castration (according to the contract). Usually the distance is more than 300 meters. According to the vet, the money granted for castration from the municipality are enough for 3-4 castration a month. How can we explain than that for 2 days I witnessed the catching of 5 dogs. You can see how the dig is  being caught on the pictures. 30 minutes later this dog came back not castrated. According to the municipal ecologist, in Botevgrad there is a municipal animal asylum with a director. We couldn’t find the questioned person, while the asylum looks like unused for months. “Intimate with the Nature Society” association will hand in an application for access to public information, so that we can ask Botevgrad municipality what and how distributed money are used for solving the problem with the homeless dogs. We also consider sending the published here pictures to the Bulgarian food safety agency for case control with the demand to stop this inhumanity and to punish the guilty ones) We had a conversation with the director of the local animal shelter and the vice-mayor, who claimed they didn’t know that the dogs were caught this way and undertook to stop cases like these.

In the same period of time we submitted an Application for free access to public information with the aim to receive more information about what, how and how much money are used in Botevgrad for the problem with homeless dogs. We received Opens external link in new windowthis as an answer. As you may see, the answers of our questions are incomplete, some of them are missing, while others directly mislead us, which you will convince in from other documents about the case.

Three months later we learned from citizens that the cases with catching dogs with wire continue. We were given pictures, published in the local newspaper. This time the dog was distressed, like we saw when we arrived at the place. We lodged a complaint to BFSA for displayed cruelty with the persistence to be done control of the work with the participation of representative of ours. We received Opens external link in new windowthis answer, in which was not clear when the control of the work was done, why a representative of ours was not included in it, was the particular case of cruelty examined and what kind of decisions were made.

Since the answer was unsatisfying in our opinion, we sent a second complaint – this time we sent it to the Ministry of Agriculture and foods. They resent it to the Bulgarian food safety agency and wanted more information about the case. Opens external link in new windowHere fileadmin/content/jalbi_i_signali/2013-05-otg_BABH_jalba_botevgrad.pdfis the reply, which the Bulgarian food safety agency turns back to the Ministry of Agriculture and foods with a copy for our association (received after numerous phone calls).

In this reply our questions from the complement are not answered again – it is not mentioned when the control of the work was done, why our representative was not included in it and what did they find out about the concrete case with displayed cruelty.

Despite our persistence, there is not even a word, whether the oral signal for the aggressive dog was inspected in a proper set in the municipality.

There aren’t fined or punished officials although striking infractions are present according to The Animal Protection Law and decree №41.

It is mentioned about a “entered book for instructions animal protection and welfare”. The interesting thing is that it is not an instruction that is required according to the Law, but a course for animal welfare (with specific content and continuation).

Only after our second complaint (sent through the Ministry of Agriculture and foods) had been made a warrant that the animal shelter does not fulfill the requirements of decree №41. This animal shelter was examined in 2012 because of a signal given by “Vier Pfoten-Bulgaria” and was made up a prescription.

At this moment there are animals in this animal shelter, although it doesn’t fulfill the requirements of decree №41. You can see pictures of the place.

We think that as long as officials are not fined and punished for breaking the laws, The Animal Protection Law will not work out.

Expect the answer of the regional Prosecution.

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