May 20, 2024

Weserbergland. As reported by police in June 2023, a Rinteln farmer was mowing his field despite a suspected fawn lying in the grass. The case has now been discontinued and the farmer will only have to pay a fine of 55 euros as he did not intentionally kill the animal.

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“In this particular case, it is possible that the farmer simply acted carelessly. However, only intentional murder was punishable,” said Nils Holger, a spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office in Bückeburg.・Mr. Dreissig says. Various judgments have already been issued regarding death by reaping. The newspaper Agrahoite reports that the sentences range from acquittal to fines of about 1,000 euros to 4,200 euros and suspended sentences of one year in prison.

Special regulations for vertebrate animals such as dogs, cats, and monkeys.

As a general rule, Article 1 of the Animal Welfare Act states, “No one may cause pain, suffering, or harm to animals without justifiable reason.” Applies to all animals including. However, special regulations in the legal text refer to vertebrate animals such as dogs, cats, and monkeys.

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If someone “kills a vertebrate animal without reasonable excuse, or causes significant pain or suffering to a vertebrate animal by cruelty, or causes significant pain or suffering to a vertebrate animal over an extended period or repeatedly,” even if the animal welfare This is considered animal cruelty even if the law does not explicitly use this term. , according to the Humane Society.

Imprisonment for up to 3 years or a fine

Such acts are regulated under Article 17 of the Animal Welfare Act. The perpetrator will be sentenced to imprisonment for up to three years or a fine. The man who dumped a live cat in a trash can in Hamelin probably needs to consider this (as we reported). The animal probably suffocated.

The example of shredding and gassing male chicks shows that section 17 is very difficult in practice. According to a June 2019 Federal Administrative Court ruling, this was initially still allowed because, from the court’s point of view, there were “reasonable grounds”, although this was a very important decision. In a nutshell, the reason lies in the years of patience and the financial burden on businesses if there were immediate changes.

Since January 2022, breeders have been partially determining the sex of chicks before hatching and culling male embryos before hatching. However, this determination is usually only possible after 9 to 14 days. The chicks hatch after about 21 days. The law is set to be strengthened this year, as chicks are said to be able to feel pain after just seven days in the egg.

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Important to know: Anyone who kills a cat has committed property damage in a legal sense. Animals are not seen as objects; they are legally treated as such. Therefore, in addition to filing criminal charges for violation of the Animal Welfare Act, we also recommend filing criminal charges for damage to property as provided for in Article 303 of the Penal Code.

Anyone who unlawfully damages or destroys another’s property is subject to up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine. Unlike animal cruelty, attempting to cause damage to property, such as pointing a slingshot at a cat, is also punishable.

But courts don’t just punish people who actively torture animals. The Humane Society explains that even people who fail to help sick or injured animals can be taken to court. These people can be found guilty of animal cruelty by omission, just like people involved in accidents where they hit animals with their cars.

They must help if it is “possible and reasonable” for them. This includes, for example, taking the animal to a veterinary clinic or seeking medical assistance. If you do not do this, you are committing a crime.


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