Livni commits to animal rights advocacy during shelter visit

"Animals have the right to live with dignity," Livni says, speaks of intention to transfer authority over animal welfare to Environmental Protection Ministry.

Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni at dog shelter. (photo credit: LOUISE GREEN)
Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni at dog shelter.
(photo credit: LOUISE GREEN)
Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni pledged her party’s commitment to animal rights issues, during a tour of the Let Animals Live dog shelter on Monday.
Livni visited the shelter, located just north of Modi’in in Kfar Rut, with running mates MK Eitan Cabel, MK Yechiel Bar, Yoel Hasson, and Yael Cohen Paran. During the visit, the politicians vowed to discontinue the killing of homeless dogs and cats, to encourage sterilization and adoption, and to transfer authority over the Animal Welfare Law from the Agriculture Ministry to the Environmental Protection Ministry.
“Animals have the right to live with dignity; it is impossible to allow those who treat them as agricultural produce to protect their rights,” Livni said on Monday.
“After forming the government, we intend to introduce a legislative package that will care for the rights of animals.”
Governance over the Animal Welfare Law has been under dispute for the past few years, with environmentalists claiming that the Agriculture Ministry inadequately enforces the legislation. Many politicians and activists have described the administration of the law by the Agriculture Ministry as a conflict of interest, as the ministry is also responsible for the interests of the industrial meat and dairy sector.
Nonetheless, the ministry has maintained that the law belongs within its jurisdiction, as enforcement efforts against animal abuse have intensified in recent years.
During the tour at the Let Animals Live shelter, Livni addressed the fact that about 100,000 dogs die annually in Israel because they have no homes. She encouraged dog and cat lovers to adopt homeless animals.
For Let Animals Live, the visit of Livni and her party colleagues was the first of a series of visits of political party representatives that the organization is currently planning.
The organization has published a sample animal rights platform available to politicians, which stresses the necessity of maintaining respect and compassion to the four-legged sector.
Within the platform, Let Animals Live advocates consolidating governance over animal rights into one authority or within the Environmental Protection Ministry. Appropriate budgets and sufficient personnel must be allocated toward enforcing the Animal Welfare Law as well, the organization added.
The platform also argues against betting on horse racing, and calls for a prohibition on trading fur products, except for those used for religious purposes.
In the egg industry, chickens must be able to thrive in conditions that do not involve restrictive cages, while in the meat industry, the brutal imports of animals that must endure intercontinental journeys toward their slaughter must cease, the platform continues.
The platform also demands an end to the killing of stray dogs and cats, and requires fundamental changes in municipal dog shelter system.
“Resource consolidation of a number of local authorities is essential in this area, in order to create a much better reality for animals in shelters and to provide much better service to the public,” the Let Animals Live platform states.