We want people to decide to report cases of animal cruelty more often. That is why we have written some of the fundamental explanations and information. Since every day, we answer similar questions over the phone and e-mail, we consider this information helpful and welcome. If you should have any further questions regarding reporting the cases of tormenting animals after reading these explanations, do not hesitate to contact us at
What is the definition of animal cruelty?
Article no. 4 of the Animal Protection Act states:
“Animal cruelty is:
- every action or quitting of an action that is made deliberately and causes the animal in question a severe injury, a long lasting or repeated suffering or is harmful to her health;
- an unnecessary or inappropriate execution of the animal.”
Since this definition is very universal, the law as well as its statutory acts furthermore define the minimum standards for a good life of the animals. In any case, you can report neglect (e.g. quitting of actions necessary for the animal to be able to live a normal life) as well as animal cruelty (e.g. deliberate action that causes damage to the animal).
I know for a case of animal cruelty or have seen it. Who should I turn to?
The institution competent for taking measurements is the veterinary inspection, and partly also the police.
Article no. 42 of the Animal Protection Acts states:
“Veterinary, agricultural, hunting and fishing inspectors and inspectors responsible for preserving the nature (hereinafter referred to as “authoritative inspectors”) are each within the framework of their authorization and competence responsible for executing this law and any regulations that are based on this law."
The police are supervising the execution of the provisions made in the second paragraph of Article 11, the first, the third and the fourth paragraph of Article 12, the first, the second, the fifth, the sixth, the ninth and the fifteenth paragraph of Article 15 and any statutory acts that are based on these paragraphs if they perceive a violation of the aforementioned provisions while executing operative fieldwork or are informed of such violation while executing operative fieldwork.
The police have to inform the authoritative inspector from the first paragraph of this article should a suspicion of violations of the first and the second paragraph of Article 45 of this act occur.”
1) For reporting cases that are happening in a certain house on a certain address, you should appeal directly to the veterinary inspection. To report such a case, you need the description of the situation and the address where the inspectors will be able to check what is happening.
Here is some contact information of regional veterinary offices.
2) If the contestable event is happening somewhere public or is of an instantaneous manner (it would already be too late before the inspection would arrive), you can always turn to the police. They namely have the possibility to identify the person or people involved and to draw up the record that is later used by the veterinary inspection when dealing with the case.
However, the police is the only institution competent for some of the prohibited actions defined by the aforementioned Act. In the Animal Protection Acts, we have sought out the provisions that the police is responsible of supervising:
The second paragraph of Article 11:
“The owner of the animal must assure that the animal is not dangerous to the surroundings by educating it properly, by training it or by taking other necessary measures.”
The first, the third and the fourth paragraph of Article 12:
“The owners of the animals and their transporters must assure physical protection of dangerous animals.
Education, upbringing, training and leading of dangerous dogs must be in accordance with the prescribed conditions.
Entrusting a dangerous dog to be led by persons without suitable knowledge of cynology and by persons younger than 16 years of age is not allowed.”
The first, the second, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and the ninth paragraph of Article 15:
"– pinching animals, pressing, straining and twisting the body parts of the animal, hanging, unless it is a matter of professional intervention, hitting, drowning or any other suffocating of the animal, throwing, thrusting or intentional run over of the animal and sexual abuse of the animal;
– exposing the animal to fire, hot, caustic or poisonous means and other physical or chemical effects that are in contradiction to provisions of this Act;
– shooting the animal, regardless of the type of the weapon used, unless the shooting is actually intended to loot the animal in accordance with the hunting regulations, to stun or to put a dangerous animal or any other animal under the effects of anaesthesia in accordance with the protection of human beings and other animals;
– throwing crackers or other pyrotechnical means into the animal, stoning or throwing any other objects into the animal, setting traps (apart from those that kill the animal instantly and are used to execute rodents that could be economically harmful), setting loops or lime-twigs that are used to capture the animal if the device used is not a hunting device that does not harm the animal;
– organising animal fights, using animals to fight, stimulating and training of animals to fight with another animal;
– breeding, educating and training of an animal in a way or with expedients that cause pain to the animal or hurt its health in any way;
– hunting the game with the intention of breeding it in contradiction to regulations about hunting and fishing;”
Here is some contact information of police stations.
3) For emergencies occurring outside of the working day and cannot wait until the next day you can always contact the duty veterinary inspector. His or her mobile phone number can be obtained on the Centre of informing (112). However, this is a measure to be taken in extreme emergencies (e.g. if the animal in question would have died if the necessary measures would not be taken).
4) Societies for the protection of animals have no special authority concerning the execution of this law. If a society for the protection of animals comes across a case of violation of the law while working, they have to report it to the veterinary inspection like every individual:
“Societies that work in the field of protecting animals have to report all the violations of the provisions of this law, that they determine during the execution of their tasks, to the competent inspector. They also have to point out the irregularities and unlawfulness actions concerning the protection of animals.”
How can I be sure that the veterinary inspection will take necessary measures?
The veterinary inspection is obliged to check every report that they receive. They then choose the suitable measure (a warning or a punishment) in view of the situation that they see. As the informer of a case of animal cruelty you also have the possibility to get return information about the actions that were taken. Therefore, we advise you to ask the veterinary inspection to inform you how things turn out in the end.
Can I report a case of animal cruelty anonymously?
An anonymous report is possible but unnecessary if you want to report a case anonymously just to conceal your identity. By Inspection Act your data cannot be revealed to the reported person by the officials:
“The inspector is obliged to protect the secrecy of the person who administered the report and the source of any other information that the inspection control was based on.”
That is why the reported person will never know who reported her. Therefore, there is no further reason to remain anonymous!
According to our experience, many people decide to remain anonymous while reporting a case of animal cruelty because they don’t get along with their neighbours and want to take vengeance for their actions by reporting them to the veterinary inspection. Unfortunately, these fake reports usually take the precious time that the inspectors could have used for solving real problems. By presenting yourself by your name and surname, you are also letting the responsible person know that you are reporting a real problem and not a fictitious one.
How do I know whether an action is grave enough to be reported or not?
The legislation only defines the most basic living conditions and circumstances that have to be enabled to our animals. Most of the people who report cases of animal cruelty estimate the situation very well and only few of the reported cases are irrelevant. But if you are having second thoughts about a case and you don’t want to report somebody wrongly, there is always something else you can do – try to have an honest talk with the owner of the animal!
Many people don’t treat animals in the right way because they don’t know how animals should be treated. If you can inform someone of his wrongdoings by using a friendly tone and polite words, why would you want to wait for the veterinary inspection to do it? The responsible people will then have more time to deal with other serious issues, and the person you considered reporting will be able to understand her wrongdoings immediately and not only in a couple of days. But if you have tried to explain the issue to the person you considered reporting and she reacted negatively, you can be even surer that your report is grounded.
If the people you consider reporting are your neighbours and you don’t want to cause strained relations between you and them by talking honestly to them, you can always leave an anonymous note in their letter box or sent it to them by mail. In that case, people will also be informed immediately of their wrongdoings and if the situation doesn’t improve, you can still consult the competent authorities.
What if my report changes nothing and the animal is still being neglected or tortured?
In that case, you have to consult the authorities once more. Don’t forget to mention that you have already reported the same case before. It is recommended that you keep copies of eventual letters and e-mails that you are sending to the veterinary inspection or that the veterinary inspection has sent to you. You can later use these copies as an enclosure to your further reports. If you wish you can always apply to us as well and we will help you the best we can to reinforce the pressure to the authorities.
Author: Sara Ogrin