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Lebanon’s President signs animal welfare law into effect

With the signature of His Excellency President Michel Aoun, the Animal Protection and Welfare Law is enacted and today animal abuse is illegal in Lebanon! Lebanon now has a strong and comprehensive law to give animals legal protection and make animal abuse a punishable crime. This is a great day for Lebanon, for Animals Lebanon, and most importantly for the animals.

Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) consider the ratification of this law a step forward towards to conserve biodiversity for the provision of a better quality of life through sustaining sites, habitats, species and people.

The law has general requirements for the handling and keeping of all animals, specific requirements for establishments such as zoos, pet shops, farms, slaughterhouses and others, and strong penalties that include fines up to 100 million Lira and four years imprisonment.

the law is the result of collaboration between Animals Lebanon and the Ministry of Agriculture. The World Organization for Animal Health, the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species, the European Commission TAIEX, international animal welfare organizations and experts, as well as so many organizations, officials and individuals in Lebanon also contributed to the campaign and the text of the law.

11 Chapters and 30 Articles lay out the definitions, purpose, requirements for establishments, general conditions for anyone handling animals, specific requirements for different types of establishments, and sanctions and penalties. The law is specific but flexible enough to be effective as our understanding of animal welfare improves and the conditions for animals in Lebanon changes.

The President welcomed Animals Lebanon to the Presidential Palace to witness the law being signed after it was approved by Parliament two weeks ago.

“In 2010 we were told that our position is morally, ethically and religiously correct, but that there is no legal basis to protect animals,” said Animals Lebanon Executive Director Jason Mier.

Recent years have seen an increase in the understand and important of animal welfare, but the problem of roadside zoos, trafficking of wildlife, unregulated pet shops and breeders, and deficiencies in slaughterhouses continue.

Article 2: Purpose of the Law:
The purpose of this law is to ensure the protection and welfare of live animals and regulate establishments which handle or use such animals, in compliance with the related international conventions and regulations, especially CITES and OIE.

“We took up that challenge and the law we drafted has now been signed into effect by the President, giving all animals strong legal protection. This is a great day for Lebanon, Animals Lebanon, and most importantly the animals.” The law ensures the protection and welfare of live animals and increases Lebanon’s compliance with international convention.

30 articles detail general requirements for handling and keeping animals, specific requirements for establishments such as zoos, farms, pet shops, slaughterhouses and others. Penalties include confiscation of animals, closure of establishment, fines up to 100 million Lira and four years imprisonment. “Passing the law is such a milestone, an achievement we are so proud of, and we are taking our day to celebrate. Then back to the hard work of applying this law to improve the lives of all animals,” finished Mier.

 

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