GSPSA Negatively Evaluates Georgian draft law on “Welfare of Domestic Animals”

„Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals“ – Georgian draft law on “Welfare of Domestic Animals” (N07-3/337/9):

“Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” has carefully studied the draft legislation document for “Welfare of Domestic Animals”.
See the draft law and attached documentation at the following link :  https://info.parliament.ge/#law-drafting/18047

After careful study of the Draft Legislation Document/Programme for the welfare of domestic animals in Georgia, GSPSA sent reports and concerns to the  Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee – Parliament of Georgia  commenting on the draft law.

The letter sent to the Parliament of Georgia:

  Letter to Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee – Parliament Georgia

GSPSA’s Draf law reports and comments are available in Georgian, you can check the following links below.

GSPSA believes that the regulations, stated in the above-mentioned draft legislation programme for domestic animals’ welfare, cannot safeguard animal rights protection and does not guarantee their safety, thus important changes to the legislation document are required.

It must be noted that the document does not respond to core issues regarding the animal rights protection. Moreover, the main principles for animal protection and safety are completely ignored. The above-mentioned programme does not state any governmental institution or agency that would have enough competence and would take responsibility for domestication and animal breeding. Furthermore, there is nothing mentioned regarding the issuing official permits for potential animal owner, confiscation of animals from their owners, regulations regarding lost and found pets or the rules for elimination of animal shelters. Some articles in the draft legislation document require additional explanatory notes and fundamental changes. The main goal of the legislation is also ambiguous. To be more precise, the above-mentioned regulations would further deteriorate animal protection environment in the country, which is already severely malfunctioning.

We strongly believe that if the draft legislation programme does not change with the proper guidance and recommendations from experts and professionals on the field, we will have a completely uncontrolled situation with regards to stray animal population management (significant problems are already present in managing both domestic and wild animal populations in Georgia), which will cause increased number of diseases among animals and other undesirable consequences, including animal cruelty. It is also obvious, that if the legislation comes into force without amendments and proper changes, government will most likely spend a lot of tax money from the budget, but It will be improper, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Another important issue in the draft document is the absence of appropriate central government agency (ministry) that would have enough competence and would take responsibility for animal rights protection and safety, which means that local municipalities remain to be responsible for fulfilment of animal welfare legislation. And as practice shows, local municipalities spend almost zero attention to animal well-being.

Taking all the above-mentioned into consideration, the draft legislation programme requires fundamental changes and involvement of proper non-government organizations, government agencies (such as Ministry of Environmental Protection of Georgia), professionals and experts who work for animal protection.

“Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” – GSPSA, for certain factors and objective reasons, has neither participated in the development of legislative proposals nor in the deliberations of the Committee. The GSPSA closely monitored and kept abreast of legislative proposals submitted to Parliament, and formally forwarded the remarks to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee. It should also be noted that in August 2018, the Society for the Protection and Protection of Animals of Georgia addressed a letter (N13 / 18 23.08.2018) to the Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources of the Parliament of Georgia with comments on legislative proposals before this draft law. Our remarks covered virtually the same issues. We received a written response from the Chair of the Committee (N 8931 / 4-5 11.09.2018) stating that our remarks and suggestions would assist the Committee in better elaborating on certain issues and preparing the legislative initiative, but as we know, the comments submitted were not discussed.  (See: http://gspsa.org.ge/draft-lawanimal-1/)

To sum up, “Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” gives negative evaluation of the draft document and recommends further discussions and meetings around the issue. Otherwise, as stated above, we believe that situation regarding animal welfare in Georgia will deteriorate.

Finally, worth mentioning that the draft legislation document contradicts with international conventions or other acts safeguarding animal rights and several articles are also unconstitutional. Therefore, the document violates several international conventions on animal welfare and domestic human rights protection legislation as well.

Conclusion: The draft legislation document on “Welfare of Domestic Animals” is completely unacceptable!

GSPSA It is not certain that the authors and initiators of this draft law will actually and objectively assess the situation and make changes to the draft following the comments of GSPSA and other specialists.

GSPSA will closely monitor further processes and will endeavor to submit the most comprehensive draft law to the Georgian legislature for animal protection and welfare, thus enacting a law that is in line with international acts, conventions, the Constitution of Georgia and other laws. Ensures proper management, control and welfare of animal populations.

“Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals” is ready for further recommendation meetings and discussions around the topic, with the involvement of other non-governmental and governmental organizations and experts from the field to make proper fundamental changes in the document.

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

february 5, 2020

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  Draft law on the Welfare of Domestic Animals”

Following documents:
https://info.parliament.ge/#law-drafting/18047

The authors and initiators of the draft law.

Documents sent to the Parliament of Georgia:

   GSPSA-ს წერილი პარლამენტის გარემოს დაცვისა და ბუნებრივი რესურსების კომიტეტს

  GSPSA-ს შენიშვნები – დანართი N1, „შინაურ ბინადარ ცხოველთა კეთილდღეობის შესახებ“ კანონპროექტზე

  GSPSA-ს შენიშვნები – დანართი N2, „შინაურ ბინადარ ცხოველთა კეთილდღეობის შესახებ“ კანონპროექტზე