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Opposition to submit amendment proposal to Fidesz’s animal protection bill

The opposition parliamentary parties on Wednesday said they will submit an amendment proposal to an animal protection bill tabled by the ruling parties, arguing that the bill was "too little, too late".

The bill submitted by Fidesz would introduce stricter punishments for the poisoning of animals, enable tougher action against illicit breeders, and criminalise participation in animal fighting.

The Socialist Party’s Agnes Kunhalmi told a joint opposition press conference that though her party will back the bill, she believed the ruling parties had only submitted it to attract votes in next spring’s general election. Kunhalmi said the opposition will propose that the protection of animals be enshrined in Hungary’s constitution and that the state set up a 15-20 billion forint (EUR 42-55m) animal protection fund.

Olivio Kocsis-Cake of Parbeszed said the government should appoint an ombudsman for animal protection whose duties would involve overseeing the national animal protection fund and proposing changes to the law.

Jobbik’s Gergely Kallo called for tougher sanctions against unlicensed animal breeders and stricter punishments for the organisers of animal fights. Also, those who put out poisoned baits that cause the death of an animal should be held accountable, while animal traps that cause permanent injury should be banned, he said.

Gergely Arato of the Democratic Coalition called for the establishment of an “animal protection guard”, saying that animal protection laws were “pointless if there’s no one to enforce them”.

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