Holland, the first country without abandoned dogs

Collect, sterilize, vaccinate, return: an ambitious program for abandoned dogs

The importance attached by the Netherlands to the animal cause is not new. For several years, various measures have been taken by the Dutch government in favor of animals, which has already passed a motion in Parliament to prevent experiments on primates.

The authorities have also put in place animal police and a toll-free number to report cases of abuse or neglect. 250 specially trained police officers are thus called upon, throughout the year, to intervene in different situations, whether to rescue a dog locked on a balcony in the middle of a snowstorm, or to take care of a wild animal in difficulty.

In 2016, the Netherlands decided to set up a program called CNVR, for “Collect, Neutral, Vaccinate, Restore”, in English: “Collect, Sterilize, Vaccinate, Restore”. This government-funded program aims to promote the sterilization, identification and vaccination of stray dogsto put an end to wild reproduction.

In addition, dog owners are obliged to have them sterilized, but the cost of the operation is borne by the public authorities.

No dog abandonment in Holland in 2020

In parallel, sanctions have been applied for masters who do not respect the laws in force. Thus, abandoning a dog is punishable by a fine of 16,000 dollars, provided that it is chipped or tattooed to identify its owner.

The authors of acts of violence or cruelty towards an animal are liable to 3 years of imprisonment. Since the establishment of the toll-free number and the police unit dedicated to animals, the authorities have found that the interventions were only linked to intentional mistreatment in 20% of cases.

Most Dutch people who present a dog, ie 1 in 5, have adopted it from a shelter. Again, the authorities have played a significant role, imposing a tax on breeding dogs, while shelters are exempt. Individuals are therefore required to promote adoption rather than purchase. of their pet.

These various measures have borne fruit: in 2020, no dog abandonment was renamed in the Netherlandsmaking it the first country in the world to achieve this resultfar ahead of France, which unfortunately occupies the top of the ranking of European countries in terms of the number of abandoned pets.

In France, despite the existence of a legislative framework, which classifies abandonment among acts of cruelty and mistreatment and exposes those responsible to a fine of 30,000 euros and 2 years in prison, it is very rare to see legal proceedings.

In 2020, a special plan was nevertheless put in place by the government. Comprising 3 axes, it aims to inform pet owners of their duties by means of an awareness certificate, to financially support associations and shelters, and to increase the penalties invoked in the event of abandonment.

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