Letter to the Chairman of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee
The Animal Programs Foundation of Bulgaria
18 Yanko Sofiiski Voivoda Str, 1164 Sofia
Mr Vassil Kalinov
Agriculture and Forestry Committee
National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria
2 Narodno Sabranie Sq
November 23, 2007
Concerning : Defect of the Animal Protection Bill
Dear Mr Kalinov,
The Animal Protection Bill provides that the municipal funds for pet population control to be used for collection and sterilization of stray animals i.e. for street activity. The authors and promoters of the Bill did not make any provision for the promoting sterilization of owned pet animals. And so paragraph 12.b.II. of the European Council's Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals according to which "paries undertake to consider reducing the unplanned breeding of dogs and cats by promoting the neutering of these animals", remains totally neglected.
The Bill does not provide any mechanism to heighten sterilized ratio of pet populations. This defect casts a shadow of doubt over efficiency of the new Low. Even more, the effort made to keep the taken wrong direction shows intentions to legalize existing pointless practice in this area and spread it in the whole country. The public interest will be damaged in favor of some private and group interests.
The Agriculture and Forestry Committee should make a report including the proposals of MPs for improvement of the Bill. The Bill and the proposals will be offered for final vote in the Parliament. On November 14, 2007 I saw the questions ask by the MPs so far. But there were no proposals dealing with the mentioned problem. Thus the opinion of the international institutions was neglected. On January 10, 2007 the European Parliamentary Intergroup for the Protection of Animals sent letters to the Chairman of National Assembly and the Prime Minister; and insisted that such measures should be included in the Law. The Director General of WSPA ensured us that recently he had highlighted to the Vice Chairmen of Agriculture and Forestry Committee the same necessity.
The worldwide good practice for sterilization of owned pet animals known as "free and low-cost service" remains unused. For the last 30 years in the USA this practice had led to 70 per cent sterilized ratio among the dog population and 90 per cent among the cats. And the number of unwanted animals killed in the shelters was reduced by eight to nine times.
In Bulgaria the drop of dog and cat overreproduction depends on the restriction of the fertility among hundreds of thousands owned pets. Meanwhile many households will have difficulties to sterilize their animals, despite of their good will. So it is necessary to provide help for such owners in the Law.
That is why I insist and beg that the Agriculture and Forestry Committee should include a proposal for additional text in the Animal Protection Act, Chapter IV - "Companion Animals" and so the defect in the Bill to be removed.
Emil Kuzmanov, founder
Cc: Georgi Parvanov
Cc: Neil Parish MEP
Cc: Dr Marc Danzon
Cc: Major General Peter Davies