Animal Cruelty Offenders May Face Two-Year Jail Terms

Animal Cruelty Offenders May Face Two-Year Jail Terms

TIRANA, October 13

Animal cruelty is still happening throughout Albania. Thus, Socialist lawmaker Saimir Tahiri submitted on the Parliament a draft-law on some changes to the Criminal Code of Albania.
The draft-law includes several additions including an article on Wild Animals on Captivity that are exploited for profit. Based on this law, the persons that will captivate and exploit wild animals for profit will face jail terms starting from six months to two years and fines up to Lek 300,000.
Some 50 bears kept in captivity were identified during 2016. Wild animals’ exploitation includes cases when they are sold, isolated or used for photos. These animals were sent to rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries, but no measure was taken for the offenders.

Moreover, the draft-law also addresses animal fighting by stating that illegal animal fighting events will be fined Lek 20,000-50,000. Further on, the organizers of such events like dogfights will face jail terms up to two years and fines up to Lek 300,000.

In the meantime, the production, publication, and distribution of animal fighting images will be considered illegal. Those that attend these events and share images or videos in social media will be considered law offenders and may face a jail term up to one year or a fine of Lek 200,000.

Higher penalties are foreseen for cases of animal killing during illegal fighting events. The draft law defines three-year jail terms and Fines up to one million Lek.

Four Paws International launched an initiative in helping to abused bears in Albania in 2016. The initiative focused on some 80 brown bears that were kept in captivity all over the country while official institutions signed understanding memorandums on the protection of animals kept in miserable conditions.  Brown bears are considered an endangered species in Albania. They are often captured as cubs and exploited for profit.

Based on the draft-law, animal cruelty will be punished with jail and fines.

News Source: Scan TV

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