‘Govt., judiciary slow to submit bill on protection of animals’

August 21, 2019

TEHRAN – The government and the judiciary have been slow to submit a bill proposed over 3 years ago (to the Majlis) on protection of animals and wildlife, Mohammad Reza Tabesh, head of the Majlis environment committee has stated.

Referring to a video emerged online showing the killings of stray dogs in Tehran suburbs, he lamented that “I declare that the government and the judiciary have delayed in submitting the bill to prohibit animal cruelty, which will incur financial burden.”
“The issue is on the center of public attention; therefore, we are good at procrastination, deferment and causing financial losses for the country,” he regretted.
Any animal cruelty and violation of animal’s right is considered a crime and should be pursued by legal entities, he stressed, ISNA reported on Wednesday.
Despite the municipality’s response to the recently released video claiming that it has been recorded about 2 years ago and the contractor has been dismissed, it has triggered people’s emotions, he added.
For the past several years, with the help of NGOs, artists, and lawyers, a bill was drafted to ban animal cruelty, and the government was going to either pass the bill or put it forward to the Majlis, he said, adding, actually, it might have been rejected by the Expediency Council for its financial burden.
“Therefore, we have been negotiating with the presidential office for legal affairs and have requested to submit it as soon as possible with the assistance of NGOs and those interested in animal rights,” he also said.
Given that penalties were required by the law, the judiciary claimed that should submit the bill, initially, he stated, adding, the judiciary accepted to review the bill, however, the process was so slow.
He went on to say that postponing the bills which arouse public emotion causes the country heavy costs, so, the government and the judiciary must take urgent measures in this regard, and resolve the dispute to send the bill to the Majlis as soon as possible. 
“The draft is now ready, and we are waiting for the government and the judiciary to submit the bill just because of its financial costs,” he said.
Referring to the current laws condemning animal right violators, he highlighted that if the animals are poisoned or killed, the violator would face imprisonment for 91 days to 6 months, or would be fined and in some cases the person will be imprisoned for 2 to 10 years.
However, the law needs to be revised because it does not fully comply with animal rights today, he noted.
He called on the responsible bodies to pursue the issue and pass the bill, and expressed sorrow toward the incidents that triggered strong emotion in the country.
Since 2016, some animal cruelty cases have been spotted in the country which mounted public criticism and pushed the Majlis to pass a law against cruelty to animals.
The Department of Environment (DOE) proposed the bill, which must be approved by the presidential office for legal affairs and then to be submitted to the Majlis and in case of approval to be sent to the Expediency Council.
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Postponing the bills which arouse public emotion causes the country heavy costs, so, the government and the judiciary must take urgent measures in this regard, and resolve the dispute to send the bill to the Majlis as soon as possible.
 

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