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Article

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
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061020
Received: 5 April 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 8 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working Animals: Welfare, Ethics and Human-Animals Relationship)
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.
This study seeks answers to questions regarding the kind of main legislative issues and obstacles there are in providing a legal solution to the problem of illegal puppy mills in the post-communist context, how criminal law experts opine about toughening the sentencing guidelines for animal abuse and deficient puppy mills, what kind of arguments have been formulated and how they have shaped the decision making by lawmakers, and how Czech politicians have argued in favour of or against toughening the sentencing guidelines for animal abuse. The Czech Republic was selected as a country of “flourishing” illegal breeding establishments and puppy exports to other European countries—a problem that has long required a solution. The introduction defines the concepts of animal abuse and puppy mills employed in the paper. Subsequently, the paper outlines existing laws as well as the amendments to toughen the sentencing guidelines. I use the example of debates among parliamentarians and legal experts on toughening the Czech Criminal Code and introducing longer prison terms to demonstrate some typical issues of the debates on tougher sentences for animal abuse in the post-communist region. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal abuse; puppy mills; legislation; criminal law; post-communism; Czechia animal abuse; puppy mills; legislation; criminal law; post-communism; Czechia
MDPI and ACS Style

Novotný, L. How to Fight Puppy Mills: Toughening the Sentences for Animal Abuse in the Post-Communist Region. Animals 2020, 10, 1020. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061020

AMA Style

Novotný L. How to Fight Puppy Mills: Toughening the Sentences for Animal Abuse in the Post-Communist Region. Animals. 2020; 10(6):1020. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061020

Chicago/Turabian Style

Novotný, Lukáš. 2020. "How to Fight Puppy Mills: Toughening the Sentences for Animal Abuse in the Post-Communist Region" Animals 10, no. 6: 1020. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061020

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