Objections Made To Animal Protection Bill

6.12.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Some 1,400 signatures were submitted to the Minister of Industries and Innovation, raising objections to an omnibus animal welfare bill submitted by the government.

The bill in question covers numerous aspects of animal welfare, both in terms of livestock and wild animals. While the bill has been by and large viewed as an improvement by those who have commented on it, there have nonetheless been numerous objections made to individual portions of the bill.

A number of animal rights and veterinary groups gathered together about 1,400 signatures, submitting them to Minister of Industries and Innovation Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, objecting to two specific parts of the bill:

First, pigs less than a week old are allowed, with this bill, to be gelded without anaesthesia. Among others, the Icelandic Veterinary Association objected strongly to this clause, saying in part, "Gelding is an indisputably painful procedure. There is no logic behind allowing a piglet to be gelded without anaesthetic, and no research has shown that young animals feel less pain than older ones."

Second, the bill also allows minks to be killed by drowning - a method not allowed for any other animal. The Animal Protection Association of Iceland was among those who objected to this exception, saying that there are more humane ways of killing minks, which can be found in other Nordic countries. "No logic justifies the drowning of an animal," they say in part. "We demand this be corrected at once."

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