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FOUR PAWS: The only way to reduce the number of abandoned dogs and cats on the street is by micro chipping them.


Although the database of the Bulgarian food and safety agency works, the number of registered pet dogs is low.

The Bulgarian office of the international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS is unconditional that the only long lasting solution for reducing the abandoned dogs and cats on the streets is by micro chipping and registration of pet animals. The organization supports the idea of the Ministry of agriculture and food for entering compulsory identification of every dog and cat with microchips when vaccinating them against rabies.


"The suggested changes in Veterinary laws and regulations which will introduce the obligatory micro chipping of dogs and cats before the first vaccine against rabies is in correspondence with the European regulations of transporting pet animals” explains Dr. Marina Ivanova from FOUR PAWS. “According to the current Bulgarian legislation dogs can be identified with microchips or tattoos while for cats there are no requirements. On one hand the problem is that animals, which are with tattoos, could not be entered into the national database and on the other micro chipping a dog is a responsibility of the owner and according to law, it is not connected with any other manipulation. The World Organization for Animal Health also supports the idea for binding the compulsory vaccine against rabies with micro chipping.

FOUR PAWS inquiry of the integrated informational system of the Bulgarian food safety agency shows that in some of the big cities there is a tendency of increasing the number of dogs with microchips but overall the number is still low. For example in Sofia in the last 5 years, the dogs with microchips are 10130. In 2013 when entering data became obligatory for veterinarians 7000 animals were microchipped. The same situation is in some other municipalities like Varna (2605 microchipped dogs) and Plovdiv (2379 micrichipped dogs).The least registered dogs are in Haskovo (201 dogs), Smolyan (120), Blagoevgrad (82), Pernik (64), Lovech (60), Yambol (44) and Vidin (only 41 registered and identified pet dogs). In the 22 municipalities in Sofia district the number of the registered in the national database dogs is also low – 459. In municipalities like Mirkovo and Dolna banya there isn’t even one.

The number of abandoned animals is lower in places where the dogs which are registered are more” reveals Dr. Ivanova. “Moreover the municipalities with the lowest number of registered pet dogs are not dealing with the problem when it comes to reducing the number of stray dogs. There are no neutering programs and there is no control over the owners of pet dogs - like collecting taxes, or over the unregulated breeding. Such district centers are Smolyan, Blagoevgrad, Pernik, Vidin and Haskovo, also big part of the smaller municipalities.

FOUR PAWS research in the district cities in the country shows that collecting taxes from the owners of pet dogs is symbolic – only in 12 of them dogs are registered and taxes are collected and only in two municipalities separate tax is accepted for breeding animals. In the entire country, there is only one registered owner of a dog used for breeding – in Targovishte district.

When the control over the owners is low it is completely logical for the municipalities to have constant inflow of abandoned animals as well as migration from the small to the big cities that is often assisted by citizens or municipal structures. The only solution is by developing national programs for managing the problem, which will include neutering programs for stray animals in every municipality as well as obligatory identification and registration of all companion animals and control over keeping animals for breeding”, says Dr. Ivanova.