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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The majority of people who decide to convert their farms and land into shelters for street animals do not have permission for it.

    According to Laura Lowe, Program Coordinator of the National Animal Welfare of the Animal Health Service (SENASA), 80% of the shelters in the country are out of order.

    “Many are, due to ignorance, claiming that they do not know that there is this process of asking for permission. When there is a charge, we explain to them that they have to put it in order, and it will educate them in this part; while others maybe act negligently, as they know that there is a process and do not want to put it in order, ” Loaiza said.

    In fact this high percentage is evidence from the data provided by Loaiza: Nationwide there are only 13 shelters that have the Certificate of Veterinary Operations (CVO), which is issued by SENASA and is necessary for having a legitimate shelter.

    “We have other shelters that are in a legislative process like Zaguates Territory. There is no exact number,” admitted Loaiza.

    However, the coordinator added that one of the main obstacles for those who are in the process are the municipalities.

    “No the whole process depends on SENASA. For obtaining the CVO, a person has to go to the municipality and ask for land use in that area (which indicates whether it is suitable for a shelter of this type) and a management plan for solid and liquid waste that must be approved by the Ministry of Health,” she explained.

    Some become shelter unknowingly

    Another problem, which detailed Loaiza, is that many people start harboring stray animals without suspecting that in the end it is becoming a shelter.

    “We have to understand that there are many places that turn into shelters without noticing it. People begin to collect animals and end up with 15 or 20 in the house.” she said.

    After receiving the complaint, SENASA is responsible for observing the conditions, under which these animals have been taken off the streets.

    “During visiting time, one looks at animal welfare issues and space options. We ensure that there is no overcrowding and that the animals are having proper medical controls; also so that they have a proper waste management, although that is part of the Health, but since we are there we make the most to see that it is adequate and so that there is no environmental pollution, ” she explained.

    When there are anomalies, an administrative process continues through health orders.

    The known breeding sites

    Moreover, Loaiza said that many of the complaints received are for breeding. The complaints are caused because people are purchasing pets on these sites which die within days.

    “The rise in illegal farms in this country is booming and people are only reporting when animals die, because people, unfortunately, look for something cheaper. Then they come, put the complaint as the animal died. ” she said.

    Thus if you are getting a pet in a kennel, Loaiza urges people to seek the CVO; ask the veterinarian responsible for the animals that are there (each kennel must have a responsible vet according to the law of the Veterinary Medical Association), request vaccines cards and also ask the municipal permits.

    To report any anomalies you can call the Animal Welfare Program of SENASA 2587-1733 or 2587-1734

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