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Animal abuse might be punished more harshly in Latvia

Cruel treatment of animals is still ongoing in Latvia, the Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) told Latvian Radio January 20.

Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Commission on Wednesday will evaluate application of harsher penalties to persons who are cruel to animals. More than 11 thousand people have signed an initiative for it.

The Food and Veterinary Service believes that cruel treatment of animals is topical, as the service receives many reports. However, the PVD does not think the issue is in penalties. 

The penalties were already increased in July last year. At present, the minimum penalty threshold is €100 and a maximum of €2,000 for a natural, €3,500 for a legal person.

Kristīne Lamberga, director of the department of veterinary supervision of the PVD, said it was difficult to control the ban to keep animals if such is imposed. "Prohibition is one thing, but it is practically impossible to control it in this case, because it is very easy to circumvent such a ban," she said.

"In 2019, 48 cases on animal cruelty had sanctions imposed. For 2020 statistics have not yet been compiled. There are a number of cases where animals are also confiscated. In the second half of last year, there were two louder cases where a person was punished for cruelty – a kitten was found in a garbage container and pigeons were locked up in the attic."

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