Can you imagine a world without stray animals? It seems utopian, but not impossible. However, it will not be easy to achieve it. More considering that a good part of humanity, especially children, lives in subhuman conditions, and many of them in the streets. Faced with this bleak panorama, what can homeless dogs expect, right? But there are always exceptions. And today we can say that Holland is the first country without hairy abandoned.
An achievement achieved without the sacrifice of abandoned dogs
But, What did Holland do to not have stray animals? The first thing we must clarify is that he achieved this goal without sacrifices and without kennels.
And then let's clarify that we are referring to a small country with 17 million inhabitants, with good economic conditions, a high quality of life and advanced policies in terms of individual freedom and environmental issues.
And is that If you have a good part of your life resolved, it is not so strange to think that you can also take care of animal welfare. But it was not always like that, obviously, as we will see later.
We tell you how Holland did to become the first country that has no abandoned animals in its streets.
Learn about the measures that the Netherlands took to avoid having stray animals
As in other issues, the Netherlands also took the initiative in the protection of animal rights. And for this a joint work was carried out between the authorities and the people. For example:
- Laws hardened. To mistreat an animal or to abandon it has a fine that exceeds 16 thousand euros and a jail sentence of up to 3 years.
- Educational and awareness campaigns were organized, designed to point out that the mistreatment of animals is as serious as that which can be inflicted on people.
- Mass sterilizations and frees Of pets.
- High taxes on the purchase of animals of race, to encourage the adoption of abandoned hairy.
As you will see, most of these measures are being taken in many places where the problem of neglect and animal abuse remains unresolved. That is why we emphasized that the living conditions enjoyed by the Netherlands contributed greatly to the success of its policies on the subject.
Dutchmen and dogs, a little history
But that Holland does not have abandoned animals, does not mean that its history has been always happy in this aspect. An investigation carried out by 'Hondenbescherming', the Dutch Agency for Canine Protection, along with other organizations, reveals how the road was until reaching this good present.
At the beginning of the 19th century, it is estimated that in almost all Dutch households there were dogs. The upper classes, as a status symbol, owned animals of race as pets or for sports. The lower strata, on the other hand, had mestizo dogs, which they used as guardians and for work.
And also, of course, there were many dogs in a street situation, abandoned after they were no longer useful to their owners. As the stray dog population was increasing, rabies became a serious problem. This caused a lot of sacrifice of abandoned animals. And, in addition, standards were established for the use of belts and muzzles.
Holland and its long road to be a country without dogs in street situation
But the outbreaks of rabies stopped, the sacrifice of street animals continued to be commonplace. And on top of that, some unfortunate measures were taken, such as creating taxes on dog ownership. The decision generated an increase in the number of animals abandoned by those owners who could not or did not want to pay that tax.
In 1864, the first animal protection agency was created. In 1877 the first canine asylum was opened. The first penalties for animal abuse, meanwhile, date from 1866. In those times, dogs were used, above all, to pull carts. However, until 1962 the use of dogs for this activity was not completely abolished.
A lot of water under the bridge happened since then. At the end of the last century, an Animal Health and Welfare Law was passed, which became a fundamental factor so that today Holland is a country without stray animals.