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People taking part in a demonstration urging the government to amend its bill for a new animal welfare act in Helsinki on Saturday, 17 January.
People taking part in a demonstration urging the government to amend its bill for a new animal welfare act in Helsinki on Saturday, 17 January.

 

Animal rights groups have reiterated their demands that the bill for a new animal welfare act be sent back to the drawing board.

The groups state in a joint press release that the bill not only neglects to address the most important development needs but would also sanction a variety of practices that cause an unreasonable amount of pain and discomfort to animals.

Such issues include prohibiting the long-term tethering of animals, guaranteeing that animals have continuing access to water, making the registration and identification marking of dogs and cats mandatory, and prohibiting fur farming.

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“[These] are key issues that the law absolutely must cover,” they view.

Sari Sarkomaa (NCP), a member of a parliamentary animal welfare group, has similarly expressed her disappointment with the bill, urging lawmakers to address the shortcomings in the bill before presenting it to the Parliament. She believes, for example, that the use of tie-stall barns and farrowing crates should be banned after a transitional period.

“The primary objective of the reformed animal welfare act is to promote the well-being of animals. It prescribes that animals must have the possibility to satisfy their key behavioural needs and that the supervision of animal welfare is stepped up,” she states.

Emma Kari (Greens), in turn, warns that the bill could end up having a negative affect on food producers in Finland.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in the ethics of food and animal well-being. The fact that our legislation will be well behind our neighbouring countries also after the reform damages the reputation of Finnish food production. It is unfortunate if the government manages to make ethical consumers prefer foreign animal production with an ill-advised law,” she said.

“This is not in the interests of producers or animals.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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