Animal Welfare Laws Being Tightened in Hungary

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Animal poisoning will be punished more stringently, breeders will be prosecuted more strictly, participation in animal fights will be a criminal offense, and on Tuesday Parliament adopted amendments to some criminal laws necessary to protect animals, which were introduced by MPs Fidesz but supported by all political parties.

Compared to current provisions of the Penal Code, the legislation expands eligible cases for harm to nature, cruelty to animals, and regulation of illegal animal fighting, state news agency MTI reports.

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Completion of the first Hungarian animal protection law

Completion of the first Hungarian animal protection law

According to the blog, animals are living creatures capable of feeling, suffering, and joy, and each animal is unique and unrepeatable.

Here’s what will change in the future:

  • A higher penalty may be imposed from one to five years in prison for crimes of cruelty to animals using poison or bait to kill more than one animal, or for crimes of cruelty to animals as a particular offender. It also means that even preparing a poison or bait placement is punishable.
  • Eligible cases of animal cruelty have been expanded to include the commission of animal cruelty in public places, animal cruelty while prohibiting the keeping of animals, and cruelty to animals within two years of organizing a prohibited fight against animals or the commission of animal cruelty.
  • Breeding has become a legitimate case of cruelty to animals, also punishable by one to five years in prison.
  • In addition to the organizers of animal fights, participants will now be punished with up to two years in prison for a misdemeanor.
  • In the case of an animal, the general steps for carrying out confiscation (in particular, destruction) do not need to be carried out.

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Hungary introduces new animal protection law

Hungary introduces new animal protection law

If the new law is adopted, it will for the first time allow for severe criminal proceedings against breeders, and will also provide for tougher penalties and new qualification cases for criminal courts for crimes against animals.

The motion was adopted unanimously by 168 votes. It was initiated by the leader of the Fides Parliamentary Group, Matti Koksis and Peter Ovade, Ministerial Commissioner responsible for the renewal and implementation of the National Animal Protection Programme. Most of the provisions of the law enter into force on the first of January.

Animal welfare organizations participated in drafting the current bill and took to Facebook to express their gratitude. For example, Ant Community (Hangya Közösség), a comprehensive animal protection organization that has been supporting the work of rural shelters and animal welfare organizations, wrote, “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this and for the unanimous vote!”

We’ve already reported on the subject when the law was still a proposal, as well as what happened in the previous years leading up to the change, here.

Source: Telex

Featured image via Tamás Vasvári / MTI

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