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Opposition on Fidesz’s Animal Protection Bill: ‘Too Little, Too Late’

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.11.10.

The opposition parliamentary parties on Wednesday said they will submit an amendment proposal to an animal protection bill tabled by the ruling parties, arguing that the bill was “too little, too late”.

The bill submitted by Fidesz would introduce stricter punishments for the poisoning of animals, enable tougher action against illicit breeders, and criminalise participation in animal fighting.

The Socialist Party’s Ágnes Kunhalmi told a joint opposition press conference that though her party will back the bill, she believed the ruling parties had only submitted it to attract votes in next spring’s general election. Kunhalmi said the opposition will propose that the protection of animals be enshrined in Hungary’s constitution and that the state set up a 15-20 billion forint (EUR 42-55m) animal protection fund.

Olivio Kocsis-Cake of Párbeszéd said the government should appoint an ombudsman for animal protection whose duties would involve overseeing the national animal protection fund and proposing changes to the law.

Jobbik’s Gergely Kálló called for tougher sanctions against unlicensed animal breeders and stricter punishments for the organisers of animal fights. Also, those who put out poisoned baits that cause the death of an animal should be held accountable, while animal traps that cause permanent injury should be banned, he said.

Gergely Arató of the Democratic Coalition called for the establishment of an “animal protection guard”, saying that animal protection laws were “pointless if there’s no one to enforce them”.

Hungary to Establish New Animal Protection Law
Hungary to Establish New Animal Protection Law

If the new law is adopted, it will for the first time allow for strong criminal action against breeders, and it will also provide for stricter sanctions and new qualifying cases for the criminal courts for offenses against animals.Continue reading

In the featured photo: MSZP MP Ágnes Kunhalmi. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI