The first 125 special ‘animal cops’ will start work by the end of this year, and can be reached via a special alarm number, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday, quoting sources in The Hague.
The appointment of 500 police officers to deal with animal cruelty is part of the agreement drawn up between the minority government and Geert Wilders’ PVV.
The paper says justice minister Ivo Opstelten hopes to make more details public this week, but that ‘heated’ discussions are still ongoing.
The ‘animal cops’ will be ordinary police officers who have been trained to deal with animal welfare issues and will work closely with government inspectors.
Opposition MPs do not support the introduction of police officers to focus on animal welfare and say the manpower could be better used elsewhere. The Christian Democrats, who form the government along with the VVD, also voted against the plan at their annual conference.
Last week Opstelten was forced to withdraw plans to replace thousands of police officers with ‘street supervisors’ following cross-party protests. That measure was aimed at saving €30m.
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