How to Fight Puppy Mills: Toughening the Sentences for Animal Abuse in the Post-Communist Region
Regional Development Department, The MIAS School of Business, Czech Technical University in Prague, 16000 Prague, Czech Republic
Received: 5 April 2020
Revised: 5 June 2020
Accepted: 8 June 2020
Published: 11 June 2020
The study examines the main legislative issues of providing a legal solution to the problem of illegal puppy mills in the post-communist context. These issues are demonstrated using the Czech Republic, a country that has become infamous for its illegal breeding establishments and subsequent export of puppies and kittens to other European countries, as an example. The country recently adopted tougher sentencing guidelines for animal abuse. The analysis identified three main obstacles to adopting tougher legislation: unwillingness to admit the gravity of the problem of animal abuse and deficient puppy mills; a conservative approach to legislation; inconsistencies caused by the Criminal Code amendment, especially violation of the ultima ratio principle. This was emphasised by a number of criminal law experts, who even warned that the Criminal Code amendment passed would not function in practice. The study demonstrates this on an analysis of criminal law experts’ positions and on the debates that took place in both chambers of the Czech parliament.