Abandoning animals outside shelters “to be punished with jail time”

Abandoning animals outside shelters “to be punished with jail time”

Tough new rules could be on the way for people abandoning animals – including up to six months in jail for anyone leaving a dog or cat outside a municipal or private shelter.

The measures are being pushed by the PS, Bloco de Esquerda, PAN and centre-right PSD.

Say reports, anyone found guilty of getting rid of an unwanted pet could face a 10-year ban on owning animals “and shops could close” (this presumably refers to pet shops).

Today (Friday) various new bills will be discussed in parliament, all of them designed to tighten control over the way animals in this country are treated.

Any animal that dies as a result of neglect, for example, could see its owner jailed for up to three years.

This is a particular pertinent clause, bearing in mind the ‘starving greyhounds horror’ recently exposed in a farm owned by Portuguese bullfighter João Moura – who claims to ‘love animals’ (click here).

As PAN – the party specifically designed to protect animal rights – stresses, “the crime of abandonment cannot depend solely on the fact that an animal’s feeding or care is in danger. This interpretation leaves out all too frequent cases of abandonment at the door of shelters so that owners can free themselves of guardianship”.

It has long been accepted that the historic law that criminalised animal mistreatment in 2014 isn’t perfect (click here). Now, for example, PAN wants to widen the scope of the law to include all sentient beings – not simply household pets.

BE and PS are not concerned with a wider scope, but the former wants negligence and the denial of necessary medical attention to be added to the list of crimes that could send perpetrators to jail.

It remains to be seen which texts are ‘approved’ and how they are inserted into the current law to ensure animals in Portugal are finally better protected.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com