GSPSA demands the draft law on Welfare of Domestic Animals to be withdrawn before the first reading at the plenary session in Parliament

GSPSA demands the draft law on Welfare of Domestic Animals to be withdrawn before the first reading at the plenary session in Parliament.

Given certain factors and objective reasons, GSPSA did not participate in the drafting of legislative proposals or committee discussions prior to the bill. At the same time, there was no proposal from the parliamentary committee to include a representative of the GSPSA in the working group on the bill. Nevertheless, the GSPSA carefully monitored and was always informed in detail of the legislative proposals submitted to the Parliament, and sent the remarks officially to the relevant committee of the Parliament.

The Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals of Georgia also presented the so-called draft law “On the Welfare of Domestic Pets”. Important notes of the consolidated version. On February 4, 2020, the Chairman of GSPSA addressed a written letter to the Parliament of Georgia on Environmental Protection and
To the Committee on Natural Resources and to send comments on the draft law (registration: N 1-1819 / 20 04.02.2020), you can read the above information and documentation on the website of GSPSA

It should be noted that on 13 March 2020, the Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the Parliament of Georgia and the Committee on Legal Affairs also addressed a letter in writing to the Georgian Bar Association. The letter of the association states that within the scope of its competence, the Committee should take into account the remarks submitted to the Parliament by GSPSA and discuss the re-drafting of the draft law in the relevant committee of the Parliament.

GSPSA estimates that the regulations in the draft law do not provide for the elimination of animal welfare problems. Accordingly, the draft law requires radical changes, alternatively, it is better to develop an improved version.

The main issues in the draft law, which should regulate the uncontrollable situation in the country in terms of the well-being of companion animals, are absolutely ignored. Attention is not paid to important issues such as:

  • the competence of any state agency concerning managing companion animals welfare in the country, 
  • relevant regulations on animal breedings and sale, 
  • permission for future pet owners to adopt or buy a pet, 
  • confiscation of an animal from a person (which is not treated properly, 
  • issues related to lost animals finding an owner or shelter

There are articles in the draft law that require fundamental changes. We encounter professional misconduct, illogicality, and imperfection. 

The content of the bill makes the main purpose of it unclear. The regulations will exacerbate an already difficult situation:

  • uncontrolled population growth, 
  • the artificial increase in the number of homeless animals, and 
  • migration. 

Consequently, in light of this, there are a lot of unresolved issues. The draft law subconsciously incorporates incorrect regulations that make it easy for some owners to abandon animals, mistreat them, and treat them harshly. 

It should be emphasized that the draft law does not mention the need for a centralized state in the form of a state agency (relevant service, legal entity), whose competence should be the management and control of domestic animal populations across the country. In the absence of a centralized link, important issues remain under the responsibility of municipalities, whose capacity to regulate such issues is very limited, resulting in severe mismanagement and deterioration of the animal welfare situation in Georgia.

GSPSA believes that the draft law needs to be created and reviewed by professionals in the field and later adopted as enforceable law. Otherwise, the situation will become even more uncontrollable in terms of animal welfare management then it is now. 

GSPSA foresees the following consequences, should the current draft law be adopted:

  • The growth and uncontrollability of the area, the distrust of a small part of the population towards the state structures, which are interested in saving the animals, creating better conditions for them.
  • Discontent, distrust, and protest against the international community and organizations towards the Georgian government. Naturally, the entry into force of the law in this way will also lead to the misuse of large sums of money from the budget.

Based on the above, the draft law requires being thoroughly amended and reviewed together with professionals, specialists, experts, lawyers, NGOs, and representatives of the relevant state agency (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) for it to be a useful, enforceable law in Georgia.

It should be noted that 10 of the 14 authors of the draft law (representatives of the organization) applied to the initiating members of parliament to request that the draft law be repealed by them on the following grounds: Representatives of all the named organizations, as well as the amendment of the working version of the draft law between the meetings of the working group were carried out by unknown persons and the agreements were violated, which was finally reflected in the draft versions agreed by the working group.  There were records in the bill that the working group did not discuss or agree on anything. It is also a significant drawback that the minutes of the meeting were not kept and there are inaccuracies in the existing protocol (Protocol N91). Due to these circumstances, the bill failed to ensure the welfare of the animals, based on which 10 authors (representatives of the organization) demanded a thorough and motivated request to withdraw the bill from the initiators (see Appendix).

GSPSA is urging the initiators and members of parliament to reconsider the draft law on the welfare of domestic animals before the first reading at the plenary session of the parliament.

GSPSA has already started working on a full-fledged draft law at this stage, which will involve specialists, experts, both internationally and locally. The project will be sent to international organizations for conclusions and recommendations. The draft version of the bill will be subject to public discussion before it is submitted to parliament.

“Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” – GSPSA

 

Letters and attached documents sent to the Parliament (available in Georgian at this moment):

 

Letters and attached documents sent to the Parliament (available in Georgian at this moment):

  GSPSA’s letter  N 109-20 (18.06.2020)

  GSPSA’s letter N 91-20 (04.02.2020) to the Parliament about the draft law on the welfare of domestic animals (Registration N 1-1819 / 20 04.02.2020)

Appendix N1 – Comments on the draft law on the welfare of domestic animals GSPSA (Appendix to the letter N 91-20 04.02.2020)

Appendix N2 – Comments on the Draft Law on Domestic Animal Welfare GSPSA (Appendix to Letter N 91-20 04.02.2020)

Letter of the Georgian Bar Association N 10635 (13.03.2020) to  Nino Tsilosani, Chairperson of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Parliament of Georgia and the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Parliament of Georgia.

Letter from the representatives of the animal protection organizations, the authors of the draft law requesting the members of the Parliament to recall the draft law.