A press conference on the new Animal Protection Act was held on September 13th at the Finnish Parliament, where the proposal for new legislation was presented and commented by various stakeholders. Animal Justice Party (EOP) was also present.
The current proposal for the new Animal Protection Act contains some improvements but also grave disappointments. Improvements on animal welfare are mild and marginal, even if the goal of the law, at least in words, has been the improvement of animal wellbeing.
Improvements in the current proposal relate to pain relief and transportation of rescued animals. However, the situation of animals in food industry, such as cows, pigs or broilers is not going improve significantly. For example, if building tiestall cattle barns would no longer be supported by investment aid, it does not improve in any way the wellbeing of cattle currently in those barns. Also, the current proposal does not provide tools for controlling the breeding of broilers nor that of giant foxes in fur farms. Once the legislation comes to force, one of the central issues is the law enforcement, how can its implementation be overseen?
It is clear that Finland does not belong to the forerunning countries in animal welfare.
In the press conference, EOP chairperson Santeri Pienimäki, pointed out that the law should focus on animals and their wellbeing, not on protecting the farming industry. EOP is going to deliver its statement to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, once the proposal is available to EOP for commenting. When the new law proposal is sent to the consultation round, everyone is allowed to comment on it. You can contact MPs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry already now. Which are the most significant improvements that you would like to see in the new Animal Protection Act? You can make a difference.