Law that bans ‘kennel killings’ now in effect

in News · 27-09-2018 10:40:00 · 0 Comments
Law that bans ‘kennel killings’ now in effect

A new law that forbids animals at municipal kennels being put down as a form of population control came into full effect on Sunday, 23 September, following a two-year adjustment period, although vets are quick to warn that Portugal’s abandoned animal problem is now likely to get bigger.

José Cid, head of the country’s Veterinary Association, said he was “concerned and apprehensive” about a lack of action on behalf of kennels to adapt to the new law change.
“I view this matter with some concern, apprehension and sadness that there has been no evolution in the issue, and that it is not being studied from the bottom up, which in my opinion is what will solve the problem”, he said in comments to Lusa News Agency.
The veterinarians’ chairperson stressed that only by fighting the abandonment of animals could the question of the number of unwanted animals in kennels and on the streets, which families are unable to adopt, be tackled.
“It seems to me that the way is precisely the fight against abandonment and really create conditions so that people do not abandon the animals and study this problem in depth, that is where I think efforts should be made”, he said.
In force since 23 September 2016, the law approved measures for the creation of a network of municipal shelters and the prohibition of the killing of stray animals as a form of population control, and established a transitional period of two years for adaptation, which ended on Sunday.

Ricardo Lobo, board member of the National Association of Municipal Veterinarians (ANVETEM), also affirmed that the problem of abandoned animals is an “educational problem”.
“The problem of stray animals has to be solved with time, it’s basically a problem of educating people” he said.
As of Sunday it is prohibited to “euthanise animals at official municipal shelters on grounds of overcrowding, economic incapacity or any other obstacle to its keeping”.
According to the law, animals received by Municipal Shelters that are not claimed by their owners within 15 days from the date of entry are considered abandoned and must be sterilised and put up for adoption.
The law also foresees the “integration of animal welfare concerns in the subject of Environmental Education, from Primary School Education” as well as the promotion of “awareness campaigns for the respect and protection of animals and against abandonment.”
Last year, 40,674 stray and abandoned animals were taken in by Portugal’s state-run kennels; 11,819 were put to sleep (around one animal per hour) and 16,144 were re-homed.
Up until May this year, almost a quarter (23 percent) of council shelters still euthanised healthy stray or abandoned dogs and cats for population control.


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