Czech president vetoes animal cruelty law

Aktuálně.cz national news reporters
27. 2. 2008 12:45
Scent hound training proves controversial
Foto: Wikipedie Commons

Prague - On Tuesday President Václav Klaus vetoed the law that enabled hunters to use foxes as live bait for the training of hunting dogs.

MPs approved an amendment that allowed hunters to remove the grid that used to separate dogs from a fox during the hound training when dogs learn to smell the fox by chasing down the animal inside a foxhole.

However, the amendment to the Law on prevention of cruelty to animals was not passed by the Senate.

Conflict between Chambers

The Chamber of Deputies then outvoted the upper chamber again at the beginning of February.

Because of the disagreement between the two chambers of parliament, president Klaus returned the law to the Chamber of Deputies to be discussed again.

Klaus also regrets that the public discussion about the problem had not started until the moment he was given the new draft law to sign.

"Lately I have been receiving very negative reactions from many citizens and professional organizations against the wording of the law that enables the old-fashioned way of training dogs for fox hunting. I think that parliament should consider these views of as well," stated Klaus as one of the reasons why he had vetoed the law. 

Fierce discussion in parliament

In parliament, where the Law on prevention of cruelty to animals had been passed twice already, a fierce discussion about the amendment errupted among legislators before the second voting.

Deputy Karel Kratochvíle from Social Democrats defended the amendment: "The dog is not supposed to bite foxes but to bark and thus force them out of the foxhole. If you use an untrained dog during a real hunt, it is a dog torture."

Petr Wolf from Social Democrats also defended the original bill passed by parliament: "It is a simulation of real conditions. This type of dog training is used by the army, police and firefighters. It is exactly the same and it is definitely not about bloodthirsty fights."

"With this law we are back among those countries where the Czech Republic doesn´t belong. Are we going to allow the cockfights as well?" opposed another Social Democrat Josef Řihák.

In the end, 140 deputies voted for the norm.

However, the Minister of Agriculture and even the whole government expressed disapproving attitudes toward the law.



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