GB No. 11, spring 1993


"Animal is a living creature, capable of experiencing both physical and mental suffering and as such it has the right to expect respect, care and protection from man" - these are the opening words of the act concerning protection of animals, the draft of which has been put forward by a group of 110 members of Sejm (Congress) on the initiative of Teresa Liszcz. The act specifies the way of treating domestic, farm and breed animals as well as those living in zoological gardens and wild ones.

"Cruelty towards animals, which is first of all a result of thoughtlessness and insensitivity as well as (more and more frequently) conscious, sometimes sophisticated action, is a common practice in Poland. Along with dogs kept on chains, dogs dying of lack of food and water, dogs in cities abandoned and thrown out of cars, cats injured and killed in cruel ways, we can see loads of animals raised for meat, imprisoned and tormented to death, cruel and often unnecessary vivisections of animals, sheep burnt alive, a bison tormented to death for the needs of film industry, and a living horse thrown into a precipice when the film 'Popio3y' ('The Ashes') was being shot. The reason for this cruelty is the badly conceived notion that man can 'make the earth subject to himself' and approved for centuries by civil law treatment of animal as a thing," we read in the justification of the draft of the act.

The act concerning protection of animals obliges regional governments to take care of stray animals. An ill-treated animal could be taken away from its owner. Abandoning domestic animals as well as dog-catching would be forbidden. Cats wandering in human settlements would be protected as they contribute toward maintaining biological balance and fight rodents. It would be forbidden to overwork labour animals, to organize bull-, cock- or dog-fights. Only animals raised in captivity could be trained and only animals raised in captivity could be kept in zoological gardens. It would be forbidden to raise calves for veal, geese or ducks for livers. The act specifies conditions of transportation of animals and experimenting on them as well as the ways of putting them to death. The act provides for punishment of up to two years' imprisonment for tormenting animals.

The act is meant to substitute the one which is valid in Poland currently, which deals with the problem of animals only superficially, namely, the ordinance of the president of the Polish Republic of March 22, 1928. It is based on the act valid in Sweden and is concurrent with the World Declaration of the Rights of Animal passed by UNESCO on October 15, 1978.

translation from "Echo" 27 April 1993

(see also page 4 for current information about Sejm)

GB No. 11, spring 1993 | Contents