About 100,000 pets are abandoned by their owners every year in France. Despite this, we do not encounter stray animals on the streets in France. like France, Europe The situation is similar in almost all EU Member States. good EuropeWhere and in what conditions live the thousands of animals that no longer have a permanent home?
There is a considerable effort by civil society in France to protect abandoned animals. Animal shelters are the places where these animals are mostly housed. However, these places are not managed by municipalities as in Turkey, but by associations created by animal lovers, and their conditions are subject to strict control.
Some of the association-affiliated shelters are publicly funded, while others are supported entirely by volunteer efforts and donations.
The possibilities are limited in the protection of animals, the role of civil society is great
As in many Western European countries, special identity cards are issued for your cats and dogs in France. The identification number assigned to each animal is possibly affixed to the animal with a tattoo or a subcutaneous chip. Your pet’s identification number is stored in your name and address. Despite this practice, there are also many pets that do not have ID numbers.
SPAs (Society for the Protection of Animals) are the main shelters that you call or deliver when you encounter an orphan animal on the street. We visited one of the 70 SPA refuges in France. More than 200 dogs and more than 100 cats are waiting to be adopted at the shelter in the city of Lyon. The shelter welcomes pets such as cats and dogs, as well as chickens, hamsters, goats and birds.
Animals brought to the SPA are first examined and cared for by the shelter’s veterinarians. All the cats in the shelter are neutered, as well as some of the dogs.
If you do not take good care of your adopted animal, the shelter has the right to take it back.
Dozens of people come every day to visit the shelter with the intention of adopting animals. However, to adopt a pet, you must first prove that you are eligible to care for a pet. There are documents to present for this, and his house can be visited by volunteers from the shelter. If the conditions to be presented to the animal are not suitable, the adoption does not take place. In addition, the condition of the animal is checked within one year of the adoption, and if the adopted animal has not been well treated, the shelter has the right to take it back.
SPAs are among the associations that survive thanks to donations and volunteers. Financial help can be given in the form of a donation, but a food pack is also completely acceptable when your path is low.
According to the workers of the shelter, these places, which work above their capacities, of course do not welcome “five-star” animals. They are waiting to be adopted behind closed quarters far from their natural habitats and they need attention. However, it can be said that they are far from the danger of starvation, freezing or being crushed by vehicles.
Leaving a pet on the street is tantamount to torture.
In France, pet owners can temporarily entrust their pets to people they have accepted via online platforms. Or they can leave their dogs at dog hostels when they go on vacation.
For them to permanently leave their animals, they must be handed over to shelters. The reasons for this must be accepted. Another option is to have your pets owned by someone else. There are many social networks that serve this purpose.
The penalty for leaving the animal on the street is quite severe and is considered ill-treatment. Anyone who leaves an animal on the street in France can be fined up to 30,000 euros or imprisoned for up to 2 years.
Lisbon Treaty: pets are “sensitive goods”, not articles
Well, what is the punishment for other crimes committed against owned or stray animals in the European Union, where there are around 80 million households with pets? How well does the law protect animals?
The European Union defined animals as “sentient beings” in the 2007 Lisbon Treaty. The EU has established regulations for the protection of farm animals. However, there is no common European law against animal abuse. In particular, Member States’ own criminal measures come into play to protect stray animals and pets. Animal rights activists demand that the EU also takes responsibility for these animals.
In European countries, violence against animals is defined as a “crime”. Although the criminal penalties vary from country to country, high fines and prison sentences of up to 2 or 3 years are applied.
Will animal violence be prevented by isolating stray animals?
How are animal rights protected in Europe? -Video
France: From “movable property” to “sensitive objects”
With the 2015 law, France defined pets, which previously had the status of merchandise, as “sentient creatures”.
Since 1989, the law requiring the inspection of shelters and similar places and the adaptation of animals to living conditions has been in force. The same law also prohibits the systematic slaughter of lost and abandoned animals.
Another law of 1999 brought numerous regulations concerning the health, nutrition, education and habitat of animals. The most important aspect of this law was that it increased the penalties for crimes of violence and rape against animals. Previously, the prison sentence of 6 months was increased to 2 years and the fine from 15,000 euros to 30,000 euros. This penalty also applies to those who abandon their pets.
In addition, there is a fine of 750 euros for mistreatment if the requirements for the care, feeding and living conditions of pets are not met, or even if they are deprived of attention.
Perpetrators of torture, rape and all kinds of abuse are liable to a fine of up to 30,000 euros and imprisonment for up to 2 years.
The Netherlands: the animal police are on the move
In the Netherlands, a police team of 250 people has been deployed to fight animal crimes alone. The Dutch have a number to call when they witness violence or abuse against animals: 144, the police animal complaint line. It aims to increase the number of animal police officers to 800.
Animal abuse and rape are punishable in the Netherlands with a fine of up to 20,000 euros and a prison sentence of up to 3 years. Public service is also part of the penalties. Also, the offender cannot have a pet for 1 year.
Belgium: fine up to 300 thousand euros
In Belgium, with the April 2017 regulation, the legal fine for animal abuse has increased from 500 euros to 100,000 euros and there is a prison sentence of up to 2 years. The legal fine reaches 300,000 euros in the most serious cases. The administrative fine is 62,500 euros.
Germany: up to 3 years in prison
In Germany, up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to 25,000 euros are provided for the crime of animal torture and rape.
Similar prison sentences exist in Switzerland outside the EU.
Spain: No federal law, each region applies its own law
There is no federal law against cruelty to animals in Spain, penalties vary by region. In the region of Catalonia, which succeeded in banning bullfights, it is compulsory to walk the animal for at least 20 minutes every 6 hours in Girona. Otherwise, a fine of 100 to 400 euros is imposed. The cost of animal abuse ranges from 300 to 90,000 euros throughout Spain. In Andalusia, where the sanction is the heaviest, the figure can go up to 90 thousand euros.
UK: up to 6 months in prison for animal abuse
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 set minimum standards for pet ownership. With the same law, a prison sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of £20,000 began to be imposed on animals for violent crimes.
Sweden: pets are withdrawn from abandoned people
In Sweden, your pet is taken away if you neglect it. The conditions for owning an animal are determined by strict rules. If you have a dog, you should take it out twice a day. You must be with your cat to take care of it at least twice a day. It is forbidden to tie your animal inside. If it is outside, you cannot connect it for more than 2 hours. You can never tie up cats and put your pets in cages. Animal abuse is punishable by 2 years in prison.
Activists call for EU legislation
Despite all these animal protection laws, animal rights activists in Europe complain that violence and abuse is not properly tracked. Although exemplary prison sentences are sent from time to time, it is found that the sentences are mostly at the minimum amount.
Turkey, on the other hand, is waiting for the law which will include the act of violence and rape against animals in the scope of the TCK as “offences”. On the other hand, as talk of “collecting stray animals” continues, it is curious what will happen to the animals to be collected.
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