The lower house of the Czech parliament has passed a ban on fur farms following a stormy debate. The ban should take effect from the end of January 2019 after an attempt to put it back failed. Around nine such farms, mostly raising mink and foxes, are present in the Czech Republic. The owners can claim compensation from the state. The ban was backed by a petition signed by 46,000 people. Opponents of the ban warn that illegal farms could be created where the state has no oversight over the animals’ welfare.
Several hundred animal rights activists have staged a protest march through the centre of Prague demanding a ban on fur farms. Some of the participants were wearing costumes of animals which they claim live in poor conditions, such as foxes or mink. The protest was organised by the animal rights group OBRAZ. On Tuesday, the lower house of Parliament is scheduled to debate a draft bill envisaging a ban on the setting up of new fur farms as of 2017, which would force existing ones to close a year after that.
Deputies in the lower house are set to debate a bill that would ban fur farming in the Czech Republic. A petition in favour of such a move has been signed by 50 deputies across the political spectrum, but a seminar preceding the debate revealed that it still has many opponents. I spoke to animal rights activist Lucie Moravcová from the NGO Freedom for Animals in order to find out more about the problem – such as how many farms are currently in operation and in what conditions the animals are bred.
A five-year-old boy died on Sunday after being attacked by a dog in the village of Lužec nad Cidlinou in the Hradec Králové region, police spokesperson Jan Čížkovský told the Czech News Agency. The boy succumbed to serious injuries sustained in the attack, said Mr.Čížkovský, who added that the police were at the start of their investigation into the matter. The police later revealed that in fact more than one canine was involved. The last case of a dog killing a child in the Czech Republic occurred in Prague in 2012.
A Czech-Slovak chain of pet shops, Pet Centres, is planning to open a network of dog hotels in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Tuesday. The company, owned by former managers of the Czech-Slovak investment group Penta, is set to build 17 hotels. Their construction is set to start in the Spring of 2017 and the first dog hotel is set to open in Brno.
Twenty lawmakers across the political spectrum are backing a proposal to ban fur farms in the Czech Republic. The draft bill envisages a ban on the setting up of new fur farms as of 2017 and would force the existing ones to close by 2018. The ban would not affect rabbit farms where the fur is a by-product. There are currently nine fur farms in the Czech Republic which mainly breed foxes and mink in what activists say are atrocious conditions. Previous efforts to ban the farms have failed. Opinion surveys suggest the majority of Czechs would support the ban.
Every year, some five million hens from Czech egg farms end up in slaughterhouses despite being just over a year old because their egg production starts to decline. The Initiative Slepice v Nouzi or Hens in Need attempts to save at least some of the birds, finding them a new home where they can spend the rest of their lives in more decent conditions. RF has more in today’s edition of In Focus:
Prague residents over the Christmas holidays donates a record eight tonnes of cat and dog food, both dried and canned, plus snacks to a well-known animal shelter in Troje, the Municipal police confirmed on Tuesday. On Christmas Day alone, some 3,000 people visited, the police said in a press release. According to the shelter, several dogs were adopted. Around 3,000 dogs and 1,700 cats arrive at the shelter annually; most of the dogs are successfully returned to their owners, the shelter said. The canines are housed in Troje, while the felines are placed at a facility in Dolních Měcholupy across the city.
Tanks of live carp are currently to be seen on streets around the Czech Republic, with some Czechs taking the traditional Christmas food home alive and others having them butchered on the spot. Not everybody approves of the custom and animal rights activists have been staging dramatic protests against a practice they regard as extremely cruel.
Stray dogs which found their way into the Brno zoo at night are reported to have killed three kangaroos and one llama. The damage has been estimated at 45,000 crowns. The dogs are reported to have dug a hole under the fencing and escaped the same way. A similar incident happened in the zoo earlier this year, when an ostrich and three exotic birds were killed. The police have appealed to the public to report on stray digs in the vicinity of the zoo.