Debrecen joins the animal protection program and animal protection action plan announced by the Government.

László Papp, Mayor of Debrecen, Péter Ovádi, Government Commissioner for Animal Protection, and Edina Szilágyi, the Animal Protection Representative of the Municipality of Debrecen held a press conference In this context on the 30th of January, 2024. ‘The matter of animal protection in Debrecen is a very important urban strategic issue. It is our shared responsibility that all those who keep animals or are thinking about keeping animals, and those who do not keep animals, live comfortably in a community,’ as László Papp said.

The Mayor recalled that in 1998 he had started his political career as a municipal representative in the Vénkert district of Debrecen at the very place of the press conference, and already then he had been often approached during reception hours by the people living here with their problems related to keeping dogs. Of course, the possibility of keeping animals must also be ensured for those who live in apartment blocks, not in a house with a garden, but there are rules and conditions for this, how families with and without animals can live together smoothly, in peace and friendship. The Municipality of Debrecen wants to deal with this topic in such a way that the citizens of the city can get to know the conditions of responsible animal husbandry in as much depth as possible, and if they decide to bring an animal into their living environment, they should do so in a way that makes it comfortable for everyone. László Papp emphasised it was very important to have a responsible person for this topic, to be a public figure who monitors the issue of animal protection in Debrecen.

‘We asked representative, Edina Szilágyi to bring this case together as a animal protection referent, to keep in touch with the animal protection organisations operating in Debrecen, to channel their proposals, opinions, and initiatives towards the city administration, so that it is possible to respond appropriately to the suggestions,’ the Mayor said. ‘There are many associations in the city dealing with animal protection, and there is also an animal husbandry centre operating within the organisational framework of the Municipality, where several improvements have been made in recent years, but there is still work to be done. The increase in the number of places, the number of kennels, and the improvement of the accommodation comfort will already take place this year. It is also very important that a total of six dog runs are currently operating in different areas of the city, as there is also one in the Vénkert.These facilities are useful for dog owners, but at the same time they should not be a nuisance for people living in their area. It is therefore difficult to find suitable locations, but the Municipality wants to increase the number of dog runners in the coming period.In order to do this, the local government will strive for much more intensive cooperation with animal protection organisations in the future than before, and the Mayor expressed his hope that the city will be able to intensively implement the development needs and proposals formulated by animal protection organisations starting in 2024,’ László Papp also mentioned. 

Government Commissioner Péter Ovádi thanked the city for its openness and ambitious plans regarding animal protection. ‘Animal protection is our common cause, since we can only be successful in this area if we work as a team. The Government, the state, municipalities, district offices, government offices, the police, veterinarians and civil organisations must work as a team. The local governments are very important members of this team, as it is not unimportant how the management of a settlement deals with the issue of animal protection. The government wants to unite this team, because only then can we be successful, ’ as he put it. ‘Animal protection could not exist in Hungary without NGOs. That is why they deserve a big thank you for what they do every day. The government must support animal protection civil associations as a prominent player, Péter Ovádi emphasised. ‘Last year, 187 NGOs successfully applied in the context of a HUF 500 million tender aimed at helping the work of NGOs, including several from Debrecen and its region. In a few weeks, the next call for tenders, also with a budget of HUF 500 million, will also be published for animal protection NGOs. It is also very important to educate society on responsible animal husbandry, which should start in kindergartens and schools. 17 kindergartens and 13 schools from Debrecen joined the animal protection theme week, and many innovative ideas came from them. The children of today are the animal keepers of the future, and it does not matter how they will think about animal protection,’ as he said. Legislation also plays a very important role in animal protection, and Péter Ovádi considers it gratifying that this is a topic beyond politics. In the name of animal protection, for example, the Criminal Code was also tightened. At the same time, it is necessary to concentrate on peaceful solutions, that is, on how animal owners and non-animal owners can be formed into a community. ‘If someone keeps an animal, then he takes  responsibility, he has to be aware of the necessity of following the rules. If this is done in this way, there will be no “a dog owner – not a dog owner’ opposition,’ the government commissioner emphasised.  Péter Ovádi mentioned that zoos, including the one in Debrecen, play an important role in raising awareness about animal protection. He believes that if Debrecen is going to implement ,and certainly can implement, its ambitious plans in the field of animal protection, it can set a good example and be a guide for other settlements.

Source : Debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U