New Draft Law Envisages Mandatory Registration of Pets

Georgian Parliament has started discussions on a new draft Law on Animal Welfare which envisages mandatory registration of pets. The annual control of the pets will also be compulsory.

The bill says the registration of domestic animals will be free of charge and will see them registered on a special data base.

“In order to achieve this goal, along with other services, a special data base will be created on which owners have to register their domestic animals,” the explanatory part of the document reads.

The draft also reads that the legislative record aims to establish a quality living environment for pets and ensure their well-being and protection.

Registration of domestic animals will be mandatory from 1 month of age. If there is any change with regard to the domestic animal, re-registration should take place in a month. In case of loss of a domestic animal, the owner is obliged to notify the agency within a week.

According to the authors of the draft law, it will not be permitted to bury a deceased domestic animal just anywhere: if a pet dies, the owner has to notify the agency within a week so the animal can be buried in a special area designated by the municipality, be cremated or be placed in a bio-thermal pit.

The bill reads that having more than five pets may be prohibited for those living in a flat. Also, if the carer does not fulfil their obligations towards the animals, treats them severely or neglects their needs, administrative or criminal responsibility will be imposed on the owner.

The draft law says that all domestic animals have the right to live in a natural environment. Their abandonment and killing (except for cases envisaged by the bill) are unacceptable.

As for the welfare of animals, the draft reads that the specific needs of the animal must be satisfied by their owners:

·         Proper nutrition and water supply for pets;

·         Creation of a favorable environment for domestic animals - allocation of a sleeping place, heating and lighting if necessary;

·         Proper physical activities and walks;

·         Timely and appropriate veterinary services;

·         Establishment of appropriate sanitary-hygienic conditions for domestic animals;

·         Availability of appropriate training facilities for their domestic living and integration into a social environment.

The draft law states that any person who looks after a domestic animal is responsible for their health and well-being and must take all reasonable actions to prevent the escape or loss of the animal. It is also not permissible to give a domestic animal to somebody as a reward, prize or bonus.

In addition, the owner of a domestic animal is obliged to provide care for the animal in their possession as well as their babies.

"It is not permissible to keep animals chained or in a closed space for a long period of time,” the draft underlines.

Mistreatment of pets or violation of the rules will result in the following sanctions:

·         Use of domestic animals for conducting scientific and laboratory experiments and carrying out surgery without the purpose of veterinary treatmentshall be punishable by fine or by imprisonment for up to one year;

·         Unlawful killing of a domestic animal shall be punishable by fine or by imprisonment from one year to two years;

·         Animal training and distribution of video or photography of animal fights shall be punishable by fine or by imprisonment up to one year;

·         Betting money on pet fights or allowing usage of personal facilities or buildings for such fights shall be punishable by fine or imprisonment for up to two years;

·         Arranging, propagating or spreading of footage or photos of animal fights will be subject to a fine or imprisonment from two to three years;

·         Violation of the rules of animal living conditions will result in a fine to the amount of one fifth of the violator’s monthly income. If the violator is an official, they have to pay half of their salary to create safe conditions for the pet(s).

·         Violation of domestic animal transport rules will be subject to a fine of GEL 100; 

·         Abandoning of the pets will result in a GEL 100 fine;

·         Having more pets in one flat than allowed will be punished by GEL 300 fine;

·         Violation of pets’ health conditions will cost the owners GEL 150;

Georgian Parliament starts discussions on the new draft about pets from May 17.


By Thea Morrison

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16 May 2019 09:56