Anyone who remembers what happened to the rider João Moura's dogs, who were seized at the rider's farm in Monforte, knows that in practice, when there is a complaint to the Public Prosecutor's Office and he orders the collection of animals, it is already supposed that will be kept by the State, zoophilic associations or institutions. But the PAN and BE want there to be no doubts on this matter and intend, with the bills to be discussed this week, to allow this procedure to be expressed in law to make it mandatory.
Nor is the fact that the Official Collection Centers (CRO) and the associations are overcrowded – a problem that, according to municipal veterinarians, worsened with the end of the slaughter of animals in the kennels – does it take breath away as the People- Animals-Nature which responds with the increase in the number of families that host animals.
It is necessary to increase the number of temporary animal shelter families that exist in Portugal so that they can also receive more animals ”, explains the parliamentary leader of the PAN, Inês de Sousa Real, to the Observer.
The Bloco de Esquerda notes that in addition to dogs and cats, which are sheltered in CROs, there are also other animals (from pigs or equestrian, for example) that need to be sheltered when they are removed from owners who mistreat them. In this sense, the party has already presented proposals aimed at creating animal sanctuaries – such as PCP and PAN, although they were rejected in Plenary on December 20 – and insists on this solution, which must be guaranteed by the State.
Animal sanctuaries are spaces where animals are recovered so that they can acquire natural behaviors. On the other hand, they are also a conservation space and could also have a pedagogical component similar to the pedagogical farms that already exist ”, explains the blockade deputy Maria Manuel Rola.
For the Bloco de Esquerda, the need to legislate in order to place abused animals in the custody of the State is also justified in safeguarding the investigation processes. According to the BE deputy, this is an “essential response to take the investigation processes seriously”, since the abused animals are also part of the evidence in the proceedings.
“Currently, animals are kept under guard by those who have caused harm to them. There are cases of animals that disappear or are even more abused. They cannot be guarded by those under investigation. The State has to guarantee spaces to receive them ", affirms the deputy of BE adding that these spaces can be" public or private ".
But this is not the only proposed change to pet-related legislation that will be brought to plenary this week. In fact, it will be two days when the debate will revolve around animals. On Thursday, in addition to a petition calling for “no postponement of the end of the killing of dogs and cats”, there are five draft resolutions (one from the PCP, two from the ENP, one from the BE and the other from the PAN) the “implementation of the network of official collection centers” to the “creation of a National Strategy for Wandering Animals”. As of Friday, there are four (PAN, PSD, PS and BE) bills that want to review and change the sanctioning regime applicable to crimes against animals.
Congresswoman Inês de Sousa Real says that the amendments to the law, proposed by the PAN, bring “two innovations” and also highlights the need to change the legislation so that animals that suffer abuse are removed immediately from those who have treated them, being placed “To the custody of the State or zoophilic association while there is no decision”.
In addition to this change, the People-Animals-Nature party foresees that the convict loses the right to “animals that may be victims of crime”. Currently, the owner of the animal is left without it only “during the sanction”, being able to recover it later, a situation that the PAN wants to change, as well as the PS and BE.
In addition to PAN It's from Left Block, also PS, PSD integrate the discussion to review the penal framework to be applied in cases of animal mistreatment, with bills that propose a heavier hand for those who mistreat animals.
Since 2014, the law currently in force provides that “anyone who, without a legitimate reason, inflicts pain, suffering or any other physical abuse on a pet animal is punished with a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine of up to 120 days“, and in cases where the mistreatment results in “death of the animal, the deprivation of an important organ or limb or the serious and permanent impairment of its ability to move” the penalties become imprisonment “up to two years or a fine up to 240 days “.