Takes Tough Action Against Animal Cruelty, including Banning Chaining
MPs approved one of Europes toughest animal rights laws, an
anti-cruelty measure that forces farmers to uncage their chickens
and prevents pet owners from clipping their dogs ears or tails.
law, enacted by a unanimous vote in parliament in Vienna today,
outlaws the use of lions and other wild animals in circuses and
makes it illegal to restrain dogs with chains, choke collars or
invisible fence devices that administer mild electric
Wolfgang Schuessel hailed the law as a pioneering example
for the world on how to respect animals, and said he would press
for similar legislation across the European Union.
key provision bans the widespread practice of confining chickens
to small cages on farms and makes it a crime to tightly bind cattle
owners and breeders no longer will be allowed to cut puppies
ears or tails, a common practice with certain breeds.
law, which needs the presidents signature a formality
given its strong passage will take effect in January (2005),
imposing harsh fines on those who violate the new rules.
rights have become an issue across Europe. Last year, the European
Commission proposed a sweeping overhaul of regulations on livestock
transport across the continent to give them more protection and
prevent deaths and abuse. Hundreds of thousands of animals are moved
on a daily basis across Europe between farms, often shuttling between
cold and warm climates under stressful and cramped conditions.
for Animal Welfare, a Brussels based group that monitors abuses
in the EU, has been lobbying to make animal rights an issue in next
months elections for the European Parliament.