The amendments in the Penal Code will lead to a drop of violence in the society as a whole, FOUR PAWS declares
Up to three years in prison or a serious fine – these will be the consequences of the murder or mutilation of an animal, as adopted by the Bulgarian Parliament on Wednesday via amendments in the Penal Code. Sanctions for organizing and participation in animal fights go drastically up, providing higher penalties and not only probation, as the situation was until today. Those people, whose pets have injured or killed another person, will be legally responsible too.
The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS has expressed its deep satisfaction from the amendments adopted. “Today’s parliamentary decision has been a long waited step towards common European values”, says Johanna Stadler, managing director of FOUR PAWS. “Bulgaria used to be the only EU member-state, where cruelty against animals was not considered to be a crime, although the Bulgarian society had clearly shown no tolerance towards such behaviour. We are glad that this situation is now changed – due mainly to the common political will of the Bulgarian institutions.”
The decision of the parliament came as a result from serious protests in this country and abroad, after several cases of sadism, shown towards animals. Female dog Mima was mutilated exactly one year ago, as her four paws were cut off. In the beginning of 2011 a big national TV channel made sensational discoveries, regarding dog fights and their organizing, while a ritual called “trichane” caused severe reactions abroad in March. The Bulgarian society was shocked by other cases of theatrical sadism against animals, such as the hanging of dogs at a bridge of the Trakia highway and in Sofia.
“The vote of the amendments in the Penal Code has proven that the subject of violence against animals is not a political, but a moral one and there is a wide consensus among Bulgarian politicians on it”, Stadler adds. „We are convinced that these changes will lead to a drop in the number of heavy crimes, as it has been proved for a long time that brutality against animals sooner or later turns into brutality against people.“
FOUR PAWS would like to express its gratitude to all Bulgarian politicians that supported the amendments in the Penal Code, thus contributing to the approach of the Bulgarian legislation closer to the European one.