A reform of the Finnish Animal Welfare Act is currently underway. The previous Act dates from the 1990s, and since then, our understanding of animals has been revolutionised and modified by research findings on animal welfare. At the same time, people’s attitudes towards animals and the keeping of animals have changed.
However, in practical terms, no significant improvements to the Act are being planned. The Government Programme stipulates that no obligations that would cause additional costs to the industry or to farmers are to be imposed. An additional objective is to “moderate” the controls and sanctions associated with livestock production. A decree improving the welfare of fur animals, which has been in preparation for several years, will not be issued at all, and the preparation of the decree will not be continued.
There is a risk that Finland will see an Animal Welfare Act which is already outdated at the time it is being written and which might actually weaken the level of protection of the most vulnerable animals.
Animals need better protection. Please sign our animal welfare petition. The petition will be presented to the Parliament of Finland when the bill comes up for parliamentary review.
We the undersigned want Finland to have the best Animal Welfare Act in the world, including, at a minimum, the points listed below:
1. Animals must be allowed to engage in species-typical behaviour. To this end, tie-stall barns and sow crates must be banned. For the same reason, fur farming must be discontinued altogether.
2. Carrying out painful procedures without appropriate pain relief and pain management must be prohibited. Such procedures include the disbudding of calves and the castration of pigs.
3. Any breeding practices that cause structural or other health problems in animals must be explicitly prohibited.
4. Regular and effective monitoring of livestock farms and slaughterhouses must be introduced.
5. Identification and registration of cats and dogs must be made mandatory in the reformed Act.
6. The use of wild animals in circuses and dolphinariums must be banned.
If the above-mentioned points are not covered in the bill, it must be returned to the processing stage. Animal welfare must be taken seriously in Finland.