Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
Azerbaijan's Agriculture Ministry issued a statement on March 13 expressing its concern over the recent groundless reports on killing of homeless animals in Baku.
The ministry said Azerbaijan is a land of great agricultural potential, rich natural climate, ancient farming and animal husbandry traditions, and plays an important role along with other countries in the region.
"This is why, we make all our efforts to protect our fauna and pass it on to future generations in the best condition," read the ministry's statement. "We express our concern about recent groundless reports on killing of homeless animals and would like to stress that Azerbaijan joined the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and is a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)".
The ministry also said the protection of animals and prophylactic measures against diseases are carried out in line with the regulations specified by the law.
It was also noted that the State Veterinary Service under the Agriculture Ministry of Azerbaijan, to fight the rabies, procured 50,000 doses of a vaccine for oral treatment of animals.
For this purpose, as the ministry said, the veterinary service's staff was deployed to Azerbaijan's regions and forest zones, as well as the cities of Baku and Sumgait, and active groups were created.
"Vaccination has been made to more than 250,000 dogs registered with the rabies decease in 2014," the ministry said. "Homeless dogs are taken from the streets of the city to the special places by the Department of Sanitation and Cleanliness of Public Utilities of the Baku City Executive Power."
"Furthermore, a special shelter for homeless dogs has been built in Baku in accordance with international standards. Several legal normative documents have been issued to regulate this particular subject," according to the statement.
The ministry underscored that Azerbaijan joined the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, adopted in Strasbourg in 1987, and the Law of Azerbaijan on Protection of Animals was passed in 2007.
Aside from that, as the ministry said, the regulations for keeping dogs, cats and other pets in residential settlements in Azerbaijan were approved by the decision No. 38 of the Cabinet of Ministers, dated March 9, 2011.
The statement also read that changes and amendments to increase fines (penalties) were made to the Article 126 (violation of regulations on protection of pets) of the Code of Administrative Offences in line with Azerbaijan's Law on Protection of Animals and the regulations for keeping dogs, cats and other pets in residential settlements in Azerbaijan.
At the same time, the ministry said, the prophylactic measures to prevent animal diseases, including those of dogs, are taken under a strict control of the State Veterinary Service in accordance with the International Epizootic Bureau's standards.
It was also noted in the statement that the biodiversity and agricultural environment are preserved in Azerbaijan in a thorough and sustainable manner.
"Protection of homeless animals is carried out in accordance with the regulations specified by the legislation and will continue in future under direct supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture," the ministry said in conclusion.