Amendments to animal bill best compromise - Senate

2020-10-14 20:20 update: 2020-10-15, 12:47
Phot. PAP/Marcin Obara
Phot. PAP/Marcin Obara
Wednesday's Senate (upper house) amendments to a new animal protection bill are a compromise between animal and human welfare and the best solution the house could find, Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki said after the vote on the amendments.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed several dozen amendments to a new animal protection bill which, among other points, forbids fur farming, using animals in entertainment, as well as export of meat from ritual slaughter.

One of the Senate-introduced changes lifts the export ban on ritual poultry meat, while another extends the act's vacatio legis period to July 31, 2023, and the end of 2025 in the case of ritual slaughter. Senators also introduced an electronic tagging obligation for dog owners and regulations household animals would not be part of bailiff enforcement. 

Grodzki said after the Senate sitting that the house only had a choice between rejecting the whole act or seriously amending it. He said the Senators' main purpose had been to find a compromise between animal protection needs and the needs of agriculture, and stated that the most important changes had been voted through.

Grodzki admitted that the debate around the amendments had not been easy, but said that in his opinion the adopted solutions were "the best the house could find." He added that some difficulties with the act resulted from its previous "very untidy" processing by the Sejm (lower house).

Senator Marcin Bosacki from the opposition Civic Coalition (KO) bloc called the amended act "reasonable, definitive and a compromise," and especially mentioned the Senate's inclusion in the bill of provisions ensuring compensation for animal breeders affected by the new laws.

Explaining why the amendments were necessary, KO Senator Marek Borowski said that although Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which authored the bill, had been guided by noble ideals, it had constructed the act in such a way that its introduction in that form would have significantly harmed many people. As an example, he named the bill's initial very brief transition deadlines, which left breeders with no time to adjust to new demands.

Borowski also praised the introduction of obligtory tagging for dogs, noting that this would considerabaly reduce the homeless dog population in Poland. He also voiced hope for the amendments' successful passage through the Sejm. (PAP)