According to an article by Amir Ben-David, The “Let the Animals Live” Association has appealed to the Supreme Court to require the Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, to transfer immediately the 4.5 million shekels earmarked for spaying and neutering stray animals in the 2016 budget, to the authorities responsible for doing so.
Paragraph 15 a) of the Cruelty to Animals law requires the government to allot a budget specifically for prevention of increases in the number of stray animals, and to issue a directive to the local authorities, who are responsible for carrying out the spaying and neutering of animals in their areas of jurisdiction. This has not been done so far for the year 2016. In addition, 68 local authorities which applied for funds in 2015 and were not funded. The appeal also requests that these 2015 funds should be granted and immediately transferred to the respective local authorities, to speed up the bureaucratic process.
In the past Minister Ariel has been quoted as saying that he opposes spaying and neutering on religious grounds, and he even investigated, with a team from his ministry, the possibility of “transferring” stray animals to a foreign country. He tried to divert the 2016 budget for preventing natural increase to research on methods which do not involve spaying and neutering, but the Supreme Court issued a ruling requiring his Ministry to use it for spaying and neutering as intended – the method considered to be the most effective for addressing the problem of natural increase, and the one accepted in Western countries.
The delay in transferring the 2016 budget harms the ability to stem the growing increase of stray animals. Despite repeated requests to the Ministry of Agriculture and to Minister Uri Ariel, who reply each time that the call will be issued “in the next few weeks,” no call has been issued and 2016 is already almost over.