The Animal Welfare Law is not being properly enforced, and the Agriculture
Ministry is evading its obligation to create up-to-date regulations for handling
animals, a new report declared this week.
The report, written by animal
advocacy group Anonymous for Animal Rights, argued that, despite an existing law
serving to protect them, many animals in Israel still suffer abuse – such as
confinement in cages that do not allow free motion, starvation periods and limb
removal without proper anesthetics.
While the Animal Welfare Law has been
in effect for 18 years, no one is protecting the animals and securing their
welfare, the group charged.
The law requires that the Agriculture
Ministry issue regulations that define basic criteria for protecting animals
from abuse in various sectors – such as farms, petting zoos and kennels, the
report said. Many animals across Israel do not receive any of the basic
protection that the law affords them, with chickens often held in extremely
crowded conditions, their beaks chopped off without any anesthesia and male
newborns sent to die in garbage bags, according to the organization.
Anonymous for Animal Rights report also introduced a series of recommendations
to improve the law’s execution, including adjusting livestock-holding container
sizes to the standards of other advanced countries. In addition, the report
charged that the Agriculture Ministry has for the most part disregarded its
responsibilities and has failed to enact most of the regulations that would
allow for enforcement, despite promises made to the High Court, members of
Knesset and the attorney-general, the report charged.
In a reaction to
the group’s allegations, the Agriculture Ministry said that animal welfare
issues have been increasingly dominant in the public as well as on the
Legislative work on animal rights is always complex,
requires extensive evaluations and takes much time, according to the
When creating regulations, the government must consult with
professionals from both Israel and abroad and arrange expert teams that include
academics, farmers and animal welfare organizations, the ministry statement
Last year, however, the ministry successfully executed a
regulation, approved in December, for the transport and containment of poultry
and pigs, which will now be used toward promoting reform in the swine industry
through a recently established interministerial task force, the statement
In addition to the livestock transport regulation, the ministry has
created many regulations under the Animal Welfare Law, including rules for
holding calves intended for consumption, as well as rules for animal funds,
animal exhibitions and performances and contests of animals, the ministry added.