Members of Parliament have voted in favor of new laws aimed at preventing pet owners and breeders from euthanizing their animals when they reach old age

or become sick.

The legislation also imposes a lifetime ban on individuals and breeders convicted of severe animal abuse, while increasing the maximum prison sentence from three to five years.

Existing laws require licensed individuals to euthanize dogs, cats, and geese, but no similar regulations cover smaller pets like hamsters, rabbits, and rats.

The newly proposed law was introduced by the pro-animal party PvdD, which argues that pet owners sometimes resort to euthanizing their elderly or sick animals due to concerns about veterinary costs.

PvdD parliamentarian Frank Wassenberg stated that breeders are also guilty of euthanizing animals for reasons such as incorrect gender or color, emphasizing that even one such case is one too many.

The specific animals to which the new legislation will apply will be determined by Farm Minister Piet Adema. If the legislation passes in the senate, the ban is expected to take effect no earlier than 2024.

Opponents of the plan argue that in some cases, allowing owners or breeders to euthanize animals may be preferable to prevent further suffering or distress.

Wassenberg stated, "Animals are not objects but sentient beings with emotions. They are particularly vulnerable and unable to protect themselves. Therefore, it is our responsibility as parliamentarians to provide the legal system with the tools to better safeguard animals." Photo by দেবর্ষি রায় from Brno, Czech Republic, Wikimedia commons.