French MP Pushes to End Animal Abuse With Harsher Penalties

French MP Pushes to End to Animal Abuse With Harsher Penalties

A French MP is cracking down on animal cruelty. Loïc Dombreval, MP of the Alpes-Maritimes, wants to end animal abuse by imposing harsher penalties.

Dombreval submitted the proposed penalties in a new report to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and the National Assembly.

The 300-page report includes 120 recommendations. In the report, the MP aims to strengthen the penalties for acts of neglect, mistreatment, and cruelty to animals.

He told FranceInfo that French laws are currently harsher for people who damage property than for those who hurt animals. “If I break a statue, I can get up to five years in prison and a €75,000 fine. If I voluntarily kill a dog, that risks two years [in prison] and [a fine of] €30,000. There is a disconnect that I find completely astonishing, which we must correct,” he explained.

France Tackles Animal Cruelty

Dombreval wants to create buying laws that would make it illegal to purchase animals on a whim. He also included a proposal that would require potential pet owners to pass a “certificate of minimum knowledge” before they are able to buy an animal.

Dombreval says the knowledge test will help reduce the likelihood that someone will abandon or mistreat their pets.

“It would be a little test on the things you absolutely must know: How much does it cost [to own a pet]? What do we need to do? How does it work? Some people don’t know that, and that leads to abandonment or mistreatment, sometimes through negligence, ignorance, lack of knowledge,” he explained.

Lastly, the MP proposed the creation of an animal mistreatment hotline that people can call to report instances of animal cruelty.

“You never know who to call, who to speak to, when there is a problem, when you see acts of mistreatment against a dog or a cat. They are part of your family, some see them as members of the family, and you must treat them in that way,” he said.

“To be able to call someone quickly, to flag up an act of mistreatment or neglect on an animal, is something that also seems very important to me to be able to improve [animals’] condition,” he added.

Dombreval is an avid animal lover and the president of Condition Animale, an animal welfare group. He has also previously spoken out against live animal transport, animal testing, and hunting.

“Neither [race] nor even species are obstacles to interactions, exchanges, […] and benevolence in animals. The lack of judgment and the spontaneity of animals should be a source of inspiration for the human race,” he wrote on Twitter.

The MP’s report is currently being reviewed by the French government.