06/07/23 Increase Fines for Abandoning Animals and Impose a Prison Sentence for Organizing Animal Fights
Animal Friends Croatia sent a proposal to the Ministry of Justice and Administration for the amendment of the Criminal Law
- They propose imprisonment for sex with animals and poisoning, as well as a ban on keeping animals for abusers
Encouraged by too-lenient punishments for torturing and killing animals and also by the increase of more serious criminal offences against animals, the association Animal Friends Croatia sent to the Ministry of Justice and Administration their proposals for the amendments of the Criminal Law. In the letter to Minister Malenica, Animal Friends Croatia point out that it is paradoxical that the Criminal Law presently has, for the most monstrous way of killing or torturing animals, a four times lighter charge as compared to the maximum punishment for damaging someone else’s (non-living) property! That is why they propose more strict sanctioning by increasing imprisonment sentences, introducing abandonment of animals and conducting animal fights as new criminal offences and, as a security measure, forbidding holding and obtaining the animals for those purposes.
„Researches show that people cruel to animals are most often perpetrators of serious crimes against the people. The present prison sentence of up to a year for those who torture or kill an animal, that being up to two years if this is performed out of self-interest, does not prevent the bullies to perform terrible cruelty towards animals and people. That is why we seek higher sentences and a stricter Law!” Animal Friends Croatia state.
Besides increasing the imprisonment sentences, that seek that, as especially cruel torturing manners and killing of animals, sexual relations with the animals and poisoning of animals are also sanctioned. With that being said the punishment for the perpetrators should be higher if done out of self-interest, senseless revenge, hatred, for filming and distributing pornographic materials or due to selfish motives or if serious body injury is caused, severe health damage or death of an animal.
Animal Friends Croatia already in 2021 started a petition requesting that the act of abandoning household pets and domestic animals is treated with imprisonment and in only one week collected more than 10,000 signatures: „The one who abandons the animal, that also means leaving them without food and water, exposed to various dangers in the city or in the nature (high or very low temperatures, endangered by vehicles, injuries or other animals), is the one acting mercilessly, aware that the animal cannot survive on its own and that death from hunger, the thirst of freezing is not immediate but includes a long-time suffering and agony. This shows a high level of criminal will and a serious social problem that should be criminalized by the Criminal Law as a criminal offence!”
Novelty is also their proposal that animal fights are sanctioned by imprisonment because presently this is possible only by implementing the Criminal Law general Article 205, with an imprisonment sentence set too low and without the possibility of sanctioning those who participate as spectators or fighting dog breeders/sellers. „Therefore, we suggest that through the Criminal Law animal fights are sanctioned as a criminal offence, with imprisonment sentences that will discourage from repeating the offence and will turn away potential perpetrators, mostly from the criminal milieu, from animal training for the fights, organizing the fighting and betting as well as causing pain and suffering to the animals, with most often deadly consequences as a result of these fights”, Animal Friends Croatia explain.
In their letter to the respective Ministry, they also propose that a new precautionary measure is introduced into the Criminal Law – a measure of banning holding and obtaining animals. It will be the one to be able to be applying for the most severe cases of animal abuse when there is a danger of repeating the criminal offence, as perpetrators have a tendency to obtain a new animal that is also abused.