European Interest

New status for Slovakia’s animals

Flickr/Peter Oravec/CC BY-NC 2.0

Every animal in Slovakia will soon be defined by law as a living creature and not as a thing. This is based on new legislation that comes into effect in September.

“This is a historic step towards improving the status of animals in our country,” Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matečná (SNS nominee) was quoted as saying by the TASR newswire. “By adopting this law, Slovakia has ranked itself among civilised countries in terms of animal protection.”

As reported by The Slovak Spectator, the new definition of animals in the Civil Code cites that animals will enjoy special status and value as living creatures that are able to perceive the world with their own senses. Provisions on movable things apply to animals but not if it contradicts the nature of an animal as a living creature.

The amendment also introduces measures against illegal dog breeders along with the mandatory chipping of dogs and measures against animal cruelty.

Veterinary inspectors will be given more powers under the new law. They will be allowed to enter property without the presence of the police if there’s a suspicion of animal abuse. Inspectors will also be authorised to take animals away from their owners if they are being abused.

The amendment also deals with large-scale dog breeders. Each puppy will have to be chipped within 12 weeks of birth.

“Via mandatory dog chipping we want to reach within a few years a situation in which there will be no overcrowded dog shelters and lost dogs will be quickly returned to their owners,” said Matečná.

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