Animal protection bill forwarded for further work

The vast majority of Polish MPs from both the ruling and opposition groupings backed the motion issued by the Civic Coalition (KO) party to move the draft amendment on animal protection bill to the agriculture and rural development parliamentary committee for further work.

In turn, the Sejm (Lower House) did not reject the bill on its first reading.

The new laws proposed by the ruling party PiS will see a total ban on fur farming with the exception of rabbits, and all use of animals for entertainment, including their use in circuses. Also foreseen are the stricter control of animal shelters and the establishment of a council for animal affairs under the agriculture minister.

The laws also impose restrictions on the ritual slaughter of animals.

The KO draft assumes, in addition to forbidding the use of animals for entertainment purposes, safeguards protecting the living conditions of animals withdrawn from service (e.g. police or rescue dogs).

A meeting of the agriculture and rural development committee will be held on Wednesday evening.

Farmers protest

The ruling party’s proposal saw many farmers fuming over the new regulations. Earlier on Wednesday, they staged a protest against the draft amendment.

Wednesday's protest started outside the main office of Law and Justice, in central Warsaw, where a delegation of protesting farmers was allowed to enter the building and leave their petition.

"This is inciting hatred towards common breeding practice," Krzysztof Bosak from the right-wing opposition party the Confederation said during the protest. He added there was a need for a wide public education campaign, so that people could see what these farms look like and that they operate in line with the law.

"Let Poles understand that PiS is trying to kill good competitive branches," he said.