Poland: Senate approves Five for Animals

On October 14, the Senate in Poland in majority voted in favor of the draft act amending the law on Animal Protection, also referred to as “Five for Animals”. 76 senators voted in favor, 11 against and 10 abstained. However, 34 amendments on the draft act were adopted, mainly to allow for a longer transition period on the ban of fur farms and the ban on ritual slaughter for cattle.

After the voting in the Senate, Five for Animals sees on the following:

  • Ban of fur farming, with the exception of rabbit farms, per 31.07.2023
  • Ban on ritual slaughter of cattle for export purposes, per 31.12.2025. The ritual slaughter of cattle for the needs of national religious communities remains possible.
  • Banned entities will be entitled to compensation from the state budget.
  • Ban on using animals for entertainment. It includes that it will be forbidden to organize a project in which the animal is a prize or is the subject of a lottery or auction. Exhibitions and shows of animals, consisting solely of presenting the features of an animal remains possible.

The possible ban on ritual slaughter of poultry was taken out of the draft act completely and will remain legally allowed. Also the powers of non-governmental organizations regarding the removal of an animal from its owner and the provision allowing anyone to collect an animal in the event of a threat to its life or health were abandoned. 

The amended draft act will now be send back to the Sejm to be voted for. The Sejm either accepts the amendments in full or completely rejects the amendments, by which the draft act would proceed in its original form. In both cases the next step would be for the president to either sign or veto the Five for Animals law, or, possibly, to request the Constitutional Tribunal to review the compliance of the act with the Constitution.