An advisory group of experts which will bring forward its proposals on animal welfare issues has been set up by order of Mantas Staškevičius, Director of State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS). According to M. Staškevičius, cooperation with animal welfare NGOs as well as public engagement has led to some positive results; however, certain problems and challenges remain.
The SFVS Director explains: “In addition to the controls being strengthened, systematic solutions, more educational and advisory practice are necessary in order to achieve fundamental changes in the area of animal welfare. Evidently, the decisions and resources of a single institution do not suffice. I have therefore initiated an advisory group of experts to stimulate positive developments by a wider range of opinions, more knowledge and different experience brought together.
The expert group will consist of the representatives not only from the SFVS and the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania, but it will also include: representatives of the public organizations defending animal rights, such as the Public Institutions “Gyvūnų gerovės iniciatyvos” (Animal Welfare Initiatives), “Tušti narvai” (Empty Cages), “Lietuvos gyvūnų teisių apsaugos organizacija” (Lithuanian Organization for the Protection of Animal Rights) and others; members of the Lithuanian Kennel Club and the Lithuanian Felinology Association; specialists from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the Chamber of Agriculture; scientists from the Veterinary Academy of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences; representatives of veterinarians and small livestock veterinarians of Lithuania along with associations for the protection and welfare of animals. The group will seek to identify the reasons for certain problems and the factors that cause them, and will submit proposals for their solution; they will also propose legislative initiatives to strengthen the protection of pet animals in our country”.
In the first half of this year, the SFVS received more than 700 notifications, of which more than half (469) were related to the welfare of pet animals.