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animal rights | government

Bulgaria EU: Sofia Fails in Animal Rescue

Despite existing facilities and available resources, Sofia Municipality did not accept a humane pet population management policy. Below comment was published in The Sofia Echo, an English language newspaper.
Source: http://sofiaecho.com The Sofia Echo Comment TO THE EDITOR: Bulgaria fails in animal rescue 10:00 Fri 12 Dec 2008 Sir Recently the National Assembly of Bulgaria debated the Apartment Buildings Management Bill, which has an impact on questions about dogs and cats in apartments. The project envisages that in all cases the agreement of adjacent neighbours should be sought before a dog or a cat is kept in an apartment. Popular animal protection organisations have taken up a campaign against the bill. They argued, logically, on the basis of the question of the thousands of dogs and cats already kept in apartments and how their fate would be changed by such new arrangements. Radostina Zaharieva of the Ekoravnovesie Sofia Municipal Animal Control said on TV that the municipality was stating a similar concern in an official letter to Parliament. But even without such restrictions, the mass abandoning of apartment dogs and cats after they grow up there is common practice in Sofia. Many pet owners offer their animals to practically anybody through ads searching for "a new good owner". However, the sincere candidates traditionally continue to seek puppies and kittens from breeders. So it is very easy for a secondhand to be turned into a victim of the illegal industry. The dog and cat fur trade is a popular theme in Bulgaria. But contrary to the conventional view, this trade does not only use animals of unknown origin roaming the streets. Another form of possible pet exploitation - illegal laboratory use - remains far outside public attention in Bulgaria. Opportunities for this activity are unlimited and the Government apparently does not pursue such cases. A key factor is the frivolous treatment of animals. Educating pet owners is an unknown activity. A second key factor - the lack of reliable animal shelters - predetermines the fate of many pets who lose their novelty for their owners. The relevant institutions are not taking adequate steps. The absence in Sofia of an info-educational programme and reliable animal shelters cannot be justified by the lack of personal obligations provided by the law. Also, there are no legal obstacles to Sofia municipality allocating some available resources for a rescue and rehoming service. Emil D Kuzmanov Animal Programs Foundation, Sofia

homepage: homepage: http://animalprograms.org