Say NO to euthanasia of refugeee animals

Say NO to euthaNAZIa!

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Veterinary inspectors are taking pets away from refugees even if they have passports and proof that the animals have actually been vaccinated against rabies. Despite the fact that Slovenia is merely a transit country and not the refugees’ final destination, the inspectors are adhering to rules which dictate that the pets are subject to further tests and three months quarantine. Volunteers on the field are reporting that the inspectors are carrying out their duties inappropriately, as they are not taking the owner’s contact details, which would allow pets and their owners to be reunited once the quarantine period is over. What is worse is that quarantine costs of around 2000 euros must be met by the owner – the refugee. If the owner cannot pay, or amid the stress and chaos actually gives up ownership, the healthy dog is then put to sleep. There has been a story circulating on Facebook over the last few days of Asha the dog, who was taken from a Syrian family on 15th November, 2015. The dog is vaccinated against rabies and has a Syrian passport. The owner offered to pay 500 euros, with the guarantee that she would place the dog in quarantine in Germany; however, the inspectors removed the dog regardless. We are writing to animal lovers through all relevant institutions and the media with an appeal that refugees’ pets are treated humanely. According to the latest information, veterinary inspectors are supposed to have taken 4 refugee dogs already. In two cases, the inspector was so careless that she did not take down any of the owner’s contact details, which makes us wonder whether the dogs will ever actually be returned. Our main aim is now to keep these dogs alive. Fortunately, the dogs will be transferred tomorrow to the Trstenjak Zajec clinic in Ljubljana, and a campaign will be launched to raise money to cover costs. The answer from the veterinary inspectorate as to what happens to these dogs is as follows: “Animal health is directly connected to the health of the human population and the health suitability of foodstuffs. As the free movement of animals is ensured within the European Union, the regulations in this area are to a large extent the same in all European member states. This is also the case for the regulations overseeing the entry of domestic/pet animals from a third country (Regulation EU No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003. The 35th article of the regulation prescribes the measures that must be implemented if there is no proof that an animal meets the set conditions on entry to the EU. In accordance with this, the UVHVVR (The Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection) has issued instructions that migrants’ animals that do not meet the prescribed conditions, and those that are left behind by migrants in refugee centres, must first be transferred to the nearest veterinary isolation unit, where they will be examined, identified and appropriate measures taken. In the case of dogs where ownership has been established, the animals will be placed in a shelter. The owner may claim them there, or the animal will be dealt with in accordance with the Animal Protection Act. In cases of animals left behind by migrants, or animals for which the migrants have no proof that they meet the prescribed conditions and are also unwilling to meet them (covering the costs of quarantine, collecting the animal after completion of quarantine), the animal will be euthanised. These procedures apply to all accompanied animals from a third country, irrespective of whether the individual accompanying them is a migrant or ordinary traveller.” Ideas, suggestions, solutions: Maybe we could organise temporary accommodation for these animals in liason with the owners, so that they could be returned to them with the help of an international group or association? The owners would of course be kept informed about their pets.

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