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Greece upgrades offenses for “animal torture and killing” to felony

A legislative amendment to be voted by the Greek Parliament on Thursday turns torture and killing of animals to felony. Acts of extreme cruelty to animals will be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment. The offenses  include “poisoning, hanging, burning, crushing, mutilating” animals.

The tougher fines and sentences against animal abuse are included in an amendment tabled in parliament on Wednesday, signed by the ministers of Finance, Justice, Interior and Agriculture.

The amendment to turn such animal abuses to felony was a long standing demand by Greek animal welfare societies, but the governments had refused so far. Reason for the change, however, where the two incidents of brutal violence last month, where a man hung and castrated his dog on the island of Crete and teacher stabbed with a knife a dog on open street in front of passersby in Nikaia suburb of Piraeus..

The amendment stipulates that “animal cruelty and in particular the killing and torture of animals with the intentional infliction of severe physical pain or physical exhaustion, endangering their health, in particular by poisoning, hanging, drowning, crushing and mutilation”, to be punished with a imprisonment for up to 10 years.”

A jail sentence of up to 10 years will be the maximum for anyone who abuses or kills animals, in addition to a daily fine of between 50-100 euros for up to 500 days. Until now the offense was a misdemeanor and the punishment at least one year and a fine of 5,000-10,000 euros.

Other violations of current laws on the treatment of animals and pets (including neglect, import and trading, breeding of mutilated dogs and inclusion of mutilated animals in exhibitions, abuse, cruel treatment, and euthanasia) now carry fines of between 10-50 euro per day for up to 360 days, on top of a current maximum of a one-year jail sentence.  Until now the fine was as mentioned above.

Temporarily seized pets and animals will be permanently taken away from their owners if they fail to commit to the financial costs of the animal’s restoration of health, its veterinary care and the proper living conditions. The temporary removal of the animal becomes permanent.

The fines will be collected by municipalities for the purpose of construction or improvement of municipality animal shelters.

Unfortunately, the legislator does not allow the spending of this money for other actions such as the purchase of food or sterilizations.

Animal welfare societies have largely welcome the amendment.

However, there is still criticism because “abuse” remains a misdemeanor.

Note that when sentenced animal abusers usually receive suspended sentences.

PS As several of KTG readers asked about the stabbed dog in Nikaia, note, that the dog was recovering well and was to be return to his owner, while the trial of the teacher was postponed for Nov 6.

Most likely, the man will not face felony charges as the vote amendment will need some time to become law of the country.

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One comment

  1. This miserable cruel country probably survives on tourism, we need to ban travel to such countries until they wake up and change!!!