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Knesset approves stiffer fines for animal abuse
By RON FRIEDMAN
16/03/2011
New regulations enable Wildlife Protection inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry to immediately fine people who mistreat their animals.
 
The Knesset Law Committee approved on Tuesday new animal protection regulations – leading to stricter enforcement against people who abuse their pets and livestock.

Instead of having to file lawsuits against abusers, the new regulations enable Wildlife Protection inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry to immediately fine people who mistreat their animals.

The Animal Protection Law, passed in 1994, outlines the minimum conditions in which animals must be kept, the criminal offenses on which abusers can be prosecuted and maximum penalties that can be placed against transgressors of the law.

According to the law, all monies received from fines are put into a special fund dedicated to advancing education, information, training and assistance to animal protection organizations.

The new regulations state that the fine for not providing adequate food or water for a pet is NIS 1,000; the fine for keeping a pet in an unsuitable living condition is NIS 750; and the fine for cutting a pet’s ears or tail is NIS 4,000.

Those who keep or transport livestock in unsuitable conditions are also subject to fines – ranging from NIS 1,000 for failure to provide adequate food or water, to NIS 3,500 for failure to provide adequate shelter.

The livestock regulations are an especially effective deterrent because the number of livestock in the owner’s possession multiplies the fine.

Recently appointed Agriculture Minister, Orit Noked, said “The approval of the new regulations is a major achievement for animal welfare. I plan to instruct Wildlife Protection inspectors to use the regulations wisely and effectively in order to ensure that animals enjoy maximum protection – and make sure that anyone who dares to harm them is severely punished.”

Dr. Dganit Ben-Dov, of the Agriculture Ministry Veterinary Services Department, praised the new policy’s efficiency.

“From now on it will be quicker and easier to punish people who transgress the Animal Protection Law – without having to take them to court – ensuring assured punishment through their pocket,” he said.

The new fines will go into effect in 30 days.
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