Govt Proposes Tighter Laws to Protect Pets

By , 07 May 2021, 12:16 PM Politics
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STA, 6 May 2021 - The government is proposing a series of legislative changes to enhance pet owner responsibility and protect pets, including by making it illegal to tether dogs and put down healthy abandoned pets.

"It's a significant step forward in protecting pets," Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek told reporters on Thursday as he set out the amendments to the animal protection act, adopted by the government on Wednesday.

One of the changes is more detailed procedure to trace the origin of dogs to prevent and curb trading in dogs and illicit trade.

"It will be mandatory to chip puppies up to the age of eight weeks, and it will be obligatory to state the chip number in sale advertisements," said the minister.

Chipping of cats will be voluntary to allow owners to prove their ownership.

In case of a violation, the first measure against the owner will be to subject then to basic training on how to keep a pet. The minister said violations pertaining to daily care, the premises and temperature they are kept at were being established.

It will be prohibited to tie up dogs, except for specific exceptions such as when they are kept on a leash to be taken to a vet or for a walk, or in the case of guard dogs at farms.

It the latter case, it will be allowed to keep them on a lead at least five metres long that will allow the dog to move around at least four metres in each direction.

It will also be prohibited to kill healthy abandoned pets in shelters after 30 days or kill them for their skin, but the minister does not expect any major changes as fur or leather farming has been banned in Slovenia since 2013.

The bill also provides more detailed provisions governing dangerous dogs and use of shepherd dogs to protect pasturing herds.

In case of attacks by wild animals, the dog will not be considered dangerous if it attacks a human in a minor incident.

However, when the dog is found to be dangerous, an appeal will not stay the implementation of the decision.

The amendments would also restrict possession of exotic species to protect the life, health and well-being of animals and people's life and health and to preserve wildlife.

Thus a list of permitted and banned animal species would be introduced with the latter group only allowed to be kept in zoos.

The cost of care for abandoned animals will be covered by the owners. When the owner is unknown, local communities will take care of them for 30 days and then the state will shoulder the cost.

Also being introduced is an option to impose higher than minimum prescribed fines, which the minister said was to "dissuade violators from violations".

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