please make spaying and neutering compulsory!
Despite a global attachment of our society towards companion animals, millions of dogs and cats are relinquished to shelters each year and several millions of those are euthanised. Professionals in the veterinary, animal control and animal welfare fields are now seeing companion animal overpopulation as a "people problem" rather than an animal problem (e.g., Arkow, 1991; Arluke, 1991; Miller, Staats, Partlo & Rada, 1996; Moulton, Wright & Rindy, 1991) with the individual and collective behaviour of people as a causal agent, while variables in the environment (animal welfare agencies, pet industry, media) are also believed to be contributing factors.
Other than being placed in overcrowded shelters and/or euthanised, many animals are abandoned. They become strays and roam free, becoming a nuisance and causing illness and harm to the community. Stray animals can become a problem for many reasons: they carry diseases that can be passed to humans and other animals (such as rabies), they can cause road accidents, harass and attack citizens, damage property and pollute the environment. They are often seen as a nuisance and health hazard by the people who live alongside them, resulting in persecution by humans in the form of cruelty, abuse and inhumane methods of killing. The dogs are treated as nothing more than a vermin to be exterminated.
Europe's shelters are full of unwanted animals and an estimated 100 million free roaming dogs (owned dogs and stray dogs), and probably twice as much cats, live in countries member of the European Union.
Every year, NGOs from all over Europe spend millions of Euros of private funds collected via donations to care for abandoned animals in numerous ways. They feed the animals, treat the injured and sick ones, they run private shelters and they try to find homes for as many as possible and above all: they organize sterilization campaigns to prevent that new animals are being added to this never ending cycle of misery and despair.
Tens of thousands of people come together on social networks such as Facebook, giving all their commitment and spending all their free time to clean up a mess created by a society that has no clue about responsible animal-ownership and the importance of spay and neuter. But all their efforts will always remain insufficient as long as new animals are being added to this sad circle.
Dogs and cats follow their basic instincts and breed to propagate their species. Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens! Male animals contribute to the companion animal overpopulation crisis even more than females do. Just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating dozens upon dozens of unwanted offspring.
Humans can make the decision to control their own population, and they must also take responsibility for their companion animals and the single most important thing that we can do to save cats and dogs from all the suffering and death that their overpopulation causes, is to spay and neuter them.
Since the problem of pet-overpopulation in Europe has become a problem of epidemic proportions, we are calling on the European Union to make spaying and neutering compulsory for all owned companion animals in the European Union, imposing hefty fines on those who will chose to ignore this law.
Governments shall provide free sterilizations to community members that can not afford the fees, so that there will be no excuse not to spay or neuter. Considering that communities spend millions of Euros of private funds and that governments spend millions of Euros of taxpayer's money each year coping with problems that a failure of spay and neuter causes, the one-time cost of spaying or neutering is far lower than the expense involved in rounding up strays, feeding and housing abandoned animals, and euthanizing those for whom homes can not be found.
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at the European Parliament, Mrs Erminia Mazzoni.
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