Victory! Lebanese President Michel Aoun recently signed the first animal welfare bill into law, officially making animal abuse illegal in the country.
“With this law, Lebanon’s regulations are as strict, if not stricter, than other laws in the region,” Animals Lebanon executive director, Jason Mier, told AFP.
The push for this bill started seven years ago when Animals Lebanon tried to stop an animal circus act that had cruelty and abuse written all over it. However, there was no legal basis to support them.
The new law provides strict rules for handling and keeping animals in zoos, pet shops, farms, and even grotesque slaughterhouses. Criminals may face a punishment of 100 million Lira and a 4-year prison sentence if caught violating.
This is a huge step forward for Lebanon as they are known for being active in the rare animal trade. Animals are also cramped in tiny cages when they’re not being beaten up or trained for performances.
“When we used to monitor violations [in the past], we always felt that we didn’t have a strong legal basis that we could lead on,” Rania Saghieh, Animals Lebanon’s lawyer, told AFP.
“The importance of this law is that we can cover all institutions that care for and maintain animals.”
We thank Animals Lebanon for their hard work towards obtaining this signature. We hope that Lebanon serves as an example for other Middle Eastern countries to follow.