Intergroup on the Welfare & Conservation of Animals
President: Paulo Casaca MEP
Vice-Presidents: Niels Busk MEP, Elisabeth Jeggle MEP, Albert Jan Maat MEP, Neil Parish MEP, David Hammerstein MEP, Carl Schlyter MEP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Herbert Bosch MEP, Martine Roure MEP, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt MEP, Cristiana Muscardini MEP, Janusz Wojciechowski MEP, Mojca Drcar Murko MEP
Honorary Secretary: Robert Evans MEP
Mr Georgi Parvanov,
President of the Republic
2 Dondukov Blvd,
Brussels 10 January 2007
I am writting to you on behalf of the European Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals to forward you our warmest congratulations for Bulgaria's entry into the European Union.
During the last ten years we regularly received messages of Bulgarian citizens and NGOs, who informed us about the serious welfare problems of stray animals in your country and particularly in Sofia. The Intergroup wrote to the Bulgarian authorities urging them to take action. At the time they replied that there was a thorough willingness to solve this problem. Reality has shown however, that the problems still persist and even have worsened in some cases.
Your country has ratified the European Council's Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals wich makes it a binding obligation to take measures in this field. The Bulgarian Parliament has therefore initiated a procedure to introduce specific legislation that guarantees the protection and welfare of pet animals. Mrs Vania Tsvetkova MP and a group of other Parliament representatives have presented a draft proposal and we have been informed that also the Minister of Agriculture is making efforts in this direction.
Apparently, the current draft proposals for legislation present striking shortcomings. "No-Kill Solutions", i. e. preventive measures for curbing and stabilize the stray pet populations without recurring to culling are not sufficiently taken into account. These would include:
- Education programmes for pet owners to discourage amateur breeding and trade
- Low-cost sterilization campaigns of pet animals
- Ownership registration of pets with microchips
- Registration documents that are publicly available
- Licensing to control over-breeding and trade
- Control of activities related to the collection and traffic with stray animals.
We sincerely hope that the Bulgarian institutions engaged in the legislative process will vote and enact effective measures to solve the problem of stray animals without recurring to a simple "catch and kill policy", which has proven to be completely ineffective and which is moreover unacceptable on ethical grounds.
The Members of the Intergroup hope that you can influence the legislative proces by proposing the above mentioned points to be included in the new legislation.
We are looking forward to your answer.
C. c.: Janusz Wojciechovski