Important for animals: the new Criminal Code comes into effect today

As many as 30,000 signatures of a petition for harsher punishment of animal abusers and organizers of animal fighting launched by ORCA last December have prompted the Ministry of Justice to propose greater penalties for animal abusers. In May 2019 Article 269 of the Criminal Code was amended, which is dedicated to killing and abuse of animals, and it increased the penalties. The application of these amendments starts today – December 1, 2019.

Animals thank you for these amendments:

  • Whoever in breach of regulations kills, injures, tortures, or otherwise harms an animal, shall be fined or imprisoned for up to TWO years (instead of one year of imprisonment which was applicable until now).
  • Whoever with gain as a motive organizes, finances, or hosts animal fights between animals of the same or different species or whoever organizes or partakes in wagering in such fights, shall be punished with imprisonment of SIX MONTHS to three years and a fine (instead of THREE months of imprisonment which was applicable until now).

Although this is our great shared success, there are also parts of the ORCA Criminal Code Amendment Initiative that have not yet been considered. In addition to increasing penalties for animal abuse, our initiative includes proposals to:

  • Define animal abandoning as a criminal offense;
  • Prescribe punishments for attempting to commit the crime of killing and abusing animals;
  • Establish two other security measures: confiscation of the animal and prohibition of keeping the animal in the case of the commission of the crime of abuse and killing of animals
  • Expanding the formulation of the crime of animal fights by punishing all fights, not only those organized with gain as a motive;

Together we can do a lot for animals, and this increase of penalties is just a first step towards changes which lie ahead.