New law sees animal abusers criminalised.

New law sees animal abusers criminalised…but not if they're bullfighters

As expected, the draft law to make the abuse and abandonment of animals a crime was approved today (July 25) in Parliament. But a surprise clause has shocked animal rights associations and effectively turned the law into a joke.
An amendment pushed through by the PSD-CDS majority sees exemption for bullfighting, the circus and agricultural and fishing industries.
“This is is very cruel and very wrong,” Vasco Reis, one of the founders of Aljezur animal association AEZA, told the Resident.
“It just goes to show how far Portugal still has to go to reach other country’s animal rights standards,” he told us. “Animals feel pain, fear and stress, just the same as we do, and it’s not right to let these industries take advantage of them,” said Reis, who is also a trained veterinary.
The law was approved with the favourable votes from PSD, PS, CDS-PP, BE and PEV. The communist PCP party abstained, saying it would be better to implement a bigger and more “dissuasive” fine system instead of turning offenders into criminals – and two members of CDS-PP voted against the law.
In a nutshell, the new legislation introduces heavy penalties, including prison and daily fines (as yet undisclosed) for those found to have mistreated or abandoned a pet animal, while also granting more rights to animal protection associations.
Algarve MP for the PSD, Cristóvão Norte, helped draft the bill and has said that he hopes the law will come into effect as soon as September this year.