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MEP Emil Radev and representatives of FOUR PAWS discussed the idea of creating Animal welfare police



Yesterday was discussed the necessity of creating an Animal welfare police in Bulgaria between MEP Emil Radev and representatives of FOUR PAWS. The opportunities for cooperation were considered as well as the possibility of creating Animal welfare police with changes of the law of the Ministry of Interior or to already existing subdivisions of the municipal police.

FOUR PAWS completely endorse the efforts of Emil Radev for creating division department in the Ministry of Interior, which will be dealing with crimes against animals. Yavor Gechev from the Bulgarian office of the international organization was unconditional that there is a real need of similar structure: “The social advantage for creating Animal welfare police will be of a big interest because everyone who is aware knows that the violence against animals sooner or later could become violence against people. In actual fact the high uncovering of crimes against animals would lead to prevention of future crimes against people. We are happy that there are Bulgarian politicians like Mr. Radev, who are taking animal protection as a personal cause.”

Both sides were unconditional that even after the changes of the Penal code since 2011, which incriminated the violence against animals, the institutions don’t have the needed capacity for actual appliance of the legal regulations and therefore big part of the crimes concerning animals remain unregistered or unrevealed. On the other hand these crimes are increasing although the illegal killings or causing injuries to vertebrate animals are sentenced to imprisonment up to 3 years.

Emil Radev is one of the two Bulgarian members of the European parliament who are members also to an Inter-parliamentary group for protection of animals. He said that at the moment his team is examining the experience of other countries with Animal welfare police, like Netherlands, to extract a model which could be applicable in our country. According to Radev the possibilities of creating Animal welfare police are two: added to the Ministry of Interior or to already existing structures of the municipal police. The first option will take longer considering the need of additional budget in the Inner Ministry, whereas the second option is more applicable in one or two big cities as a pilot project, which later could be transferred to the Ministry of Interior. FOUR PAWS expressed readiness for cooperation with the new division department with their contacts, experts and experience with protection of animals.  

During the meeting were discussed the suggested changes in the Animal protection act and mostly the prevention of owners to leave their animals on the street and the possibility for confiscating animals, who are subject of inhumane treatment like excessive loading up, unsuitable conditions for living and so on. Until now the police was able to confiscate animals only after the decision of a prosecutor when there is proved danger for the life of the animal or when they have already had serious or permanent injuries.

Emil Radev revealed that at the European parliament the subject about protection of animals is an important topic and that the countries which tolerate violence against animals are not seen well. This is the case with Romania which is rebuked for its cruel attitude towards stray dogs and cats.