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Success: The Swedish Parliament voted yes on tougher penalties for crimes against animals

Running, happy dog!
Photo: Shutterstock

Today, the Swedish Parliament voted in favor of introducing a new crime, aggravated animal cruelty, in the Criminal Code. Djurens Rätt has worked for this for a long time and is pleased that the Parliament today sided with animals.

The Swedish Parliament adopted the Government's proposal for stricter penalties and a more effective sanction system for crimes against animals.

– This is an incredibly important victory for the animals! Crimes against animals must be taken seriously and today's decision sends a clear signal that crimes against animals should be taken seriously and prioritized by the judiciary. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Djurens Rätt supporters who make successes like this possible, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt.

The penalty scale for animal cruelty today ranges from fines to imprisonment for a maximum of two years. The change in the law that the Parliament voted for today means that the penalty scale for aggravated animal cruelty shall be imprisonment for a minimum of six months and a maximum of four years. In assessing whether an animal cruelty offense is serious, special consideration shall be given to whether the act has caused serious suffering to the animal or animals, whether it has involved a large number of animals or has otherwise been of a particularly ruthless or dangerous nature.

– Djurens Rätt especially welcomes the fact that for serious animal cruelty, consideration must be given to whether many animals have been harmed, which is often the case in the broiler chicken industry, for example. The next step will be to deal with the systematic animal abuse that exist in facory farms, it is time to put an end to animal cruelty once and for all, says Camilla Bergvall.

Duty to report and change of sanctions

The proposal that the Parliament voted through also entails other changes than the introduction of a serious animal cruelty offense, such as a so-called change of sanction and a duty for the control authorities to report violatons.

Djurens Rätt has proposed the introduction of stricter penalties for crimes against animals and was very positive that an investigation was appointed in 2018 by the Swedish Government. Djurens Rätt has since then participated in consultation with the investigators, provided written comments and consultation responses.

The amendments to the law will enter into force on 1 July 2022.

Linda Björklund

Linda Björklund | Sakkunnig

2 februari 2022

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