On Thursday, 15 June, the Saeima adopted in the final reading the amendments to the Animal Protection Law prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses and other shows. At present, it is allowed. Other amendments triggered by the European Commission clarify the provisions of the Law pertaining to laboratory animals.
A new article was added to the Law stating that both wild and captive animals should not be trained and used for entertainment. This will apply mainly to traveling circuses from both the European Union and third countries. As the draft law summary explains, this means a ban on exploiting and training animals to make them act unnaturally, thus damaging their health and causing them suffering.
So far, the Animal Protection Law prohibited cruelty to animals, also exhibiting wild animals outside a zoo or registered wild animal facility.
The amendments also amplified the prohibition to catch and keep wild animals in captivity. Now it will apply not only to birds and mammals, but also to amphibians and reptiles.
Amendments also introduce a new fee for animal testing permit.
Furthermore, laboratory animal breeders, suppliers and users will now have to improve their standards of breeding, keeping, care and other procedures so as to eliminate or minimise any possible pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to the animals.
Saeima Press Service