MPs back rules to stop owners killing their old or sick pets


MPs have voted in favour of new legislation which will stop pet owners and breeders killing their animals if they become old or sick.

The legislation also introduces a life-time ban on keeping pets for people and breeders who are convicted of serious animal abuse, and increases the maximum jail term from three to five years.

The law already states that dogs, cats and geese have to be killed by a licenced person but there is no such legislation in place that covers smaller pets like hamsters, rabbits and rats.

The new law was drawn up by the pro-animal PvdD which says that pet owners sometimes kill their old and sick pets themselves because they are worried about paying a vet.

Breeders too are guilty of killing animals because they are not the right sex or colour, PvdD parliamentarian Frank Wassenberg said. “Each time is one time too many,” he said.

Farm minister Piet Adema will now determine exactly which animals the new legislation will apply to. The ban is not likely to come into force before 2024, if it passes in the senate.

Opponents of the plan say in some cases it is better to allow owners or breeders to kill the animals to avoid stress or further suffering.

“Animals are not things, but beings with feelings,” Wassenberg said. “They are especially vulnerable victims who cannot protect themselves. That is why it is up to us, in parliament, to give the legal system the option to better protect animals.”

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