Agriculture Ministry announces it has no intention to introduce a tax on pets.
“Although the Friends of Animals association proposed the introduction of tax on dogs, the issue of tax policy is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, and therefore the proposal was not included in the draft of the Animal Protection Act”, announced the Ministry on Monday, reacting to news reports that it was considering the introduction of the tax, reports Index.hr on October 31, 2016.
Minister Tomislav Tolušić explained that no taxes had been included in the new law. “The Ministry of Agriculture has proposed a law that was already a subject of the public consultation period and we have received some 500 proposals. One of them was the introduction of tax on dogs that came from one NGO. We have not included this proposal, and the law will soon go to Parliament. We are neither responsible for tax issues nor we believe that any such tax should be introduced”, said the Agriculture Minister.
During the public consultation period about the new Animal Protection Act, which is expected to be adopted in early 2017, one of proposals received was the introduction of tax on dogs. The proposal came from veterinarian Jurica Ambrožić, a representative of the Zagreb City Office for Agriculture and Forestry, who said that similar taxes existed in Austria and Germany. According to him, the tax should be introduced by amendments to the Law on Financing of Local and Regional Government Units and its payment should be monitored by the Tax Administration. The tax would be mandatory for pet owners and breeders of animals, and collected funds would be used to finance the work of animal shelters.
Animals saved from shelters would be exempt from the tax, as well as dogs for the blind or those which help disabled people. “In this way, the state would give a significant boost to adoption of animals from shelters, which would have a positive effect on animal welfare. In the end, the cost of animal shelters would be paid by pet owners and not all taxpayers, which we think is fair”, announced the Friends of Animals association, which supports the proposal.
“The amount of ‘tax’ should be symbolic, but still enough to encourage responsible care for dogs. The proceeds could be used by local governments to improve the protection of animals. We therefore call upon the Agriculture Ministry and the Finance Ministry to support the implementation of this useful proposal”, concluded Friends of Animals.