The establishment of a designated police unit to tackle animal abuse — a long standing demand for animal rights groups — has come a step closer after the drafting of a bill by the Justice Ministry which is expected to go the House of Representatives for approval.
The bill amends the law on police to cover the establishment of a unit at police headquarters.
The unit will investigate:
– poisoning of animals
– any kind of cruel death
— killing animals for recreational purposes or any other unacceptable reasons including for practice
– organising fights between animals during which the animals are abused or killed
– using live animal to train dogs or check how aggressive they are unless the dogs are trained or tested in an artificial nest and in conditions that will be set out
– using animals for exhibitions, advertisements, production of films or related purposes when this entails causing pain or injury
– tying and pulling an animal to a moving vehicle in a way which may cause injury
– animal abuse
Members of the unit will provide the necessary help to authorised individuals of local authorities in cases where they are unable to implement the law, in cases of failure of potential offenders to comply with their recommendations as well as in cases where there may be a danger to the safety of the authorised persons, other persons or animals
Members of the unit will be trained at regular intervals on investigating animal abuse.
The head of the unit will be appointed by the chief of police and the unit will have authority throughout the territory of the Republic and will work with community police, who will also be suitably trained.