The problem of stray animals is on the rise again. In the coming days, the legal framework for animals living in urban environments will be updated.
It is estimated that at least 200 million dogs and 480 million cats roam the streets of the globe, with a life expectancy of just over two years and a daily risk of hunger, disease, accidents, poisoning, and violence.
Although the homeless “quadruped” population of cities cannot be accurately measured, the problem of stray animals exists in Greece 365 days a year.
They talk about it not only today, on the World Day of stray animals. In our country, the estimated population of dogs and cats on the streets reaches 3 million. Worst of all, according to environmental advocacy associations, a large number of stray animals were previously “pets” that were thrown out into the street.
The pandemic has two sides of the same coin, experts say, commenting on the situation with stray animals. The coronavirus has led to a significant increase in the number of pets, as evidenced by data from the National Trade Confederation. According to them, during November there was an increase in imports of food and accessories for dogs and cats by more than 12 euros, compared to the same period last year. Perhaps people, in order not to be alone locked in their apartments, decided to have a pet. Which is, of course, good from this side.
But there is also another “side of the coin”. Residents of cities, left without work, were unable to feed the pets and simply got rid of them, throwing them out into the street, thereby “solving the problem.” And during the first wave, when many pet owners parted with their pets, this was done due to ignorance and fear that they might be carriers of the coronavirus.
New provisions of the bill
Another attempt by the government to update the legal framework for pets is reportedly expected in the coming days following the withdrawal of the last bill that was drafted in 2018. The new bill will be presented for the first time by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which has already caused a reaction in connection with the transfer of the corresponding responsibility to the ministry, which does not belong to the veterinary services.
Nevertheless, there are “weaknesses” in some of its provisions, it is vague about paying for travel with an animal, medical care, etc. The main provision of the bill is compulsory sterilization of all pets with the ability for all owners to reproduce, but only once. The incentive for diligent pet owners is to reduce municipal fees to 10% or to issue vouchers by municipal authorities to chip, register and sterilize an animal, while fines for violence or inappropriate containment are even more severe.