In a landmark move yesterday, the Greek Parliament voted unanimously to make serious animal abuse and torture crimes that can result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 25,000 to 50,000 euros.
The Minister of Rural Development and Food, Makis Voridis, drafted the amendment to tighten the legal framework governing the torture and killing of animals, after consulting with Minister of Justice, Konstantinos Tsiara.
“Our society no longer tolerates the heinous behaviors observed in recent times and demands a just punishment for torturing animals,” Voridis said in a statement, further characterizing the sentence of imprisonment of up to a decade “appropriate and fair punishment.”
In less severe cases, people who mistreat animals will also be sentenced to a minimum of one year in jail and will have to pay a fine of 3,600 to 18,000 euros.
According to the Ministry, the revenues from the imposition of fines will be used exclusively for the creation and improvement of municipal shelters and veterinary clinics.
The new amendment also allows the Prosecutor to permanently remove any animals from the possession of the offender. The Prosecutor may also prohibit the acquisition of another animal in the future.
Voridis also stressed that the ruling should serve as a clear message that, “Animal torture is not tolerated in the Greek state and society.”
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