A petition with more than 90,000 signatures defending the criminalization of mistreatment of animals will be delivered at the Assembly of the Republic this Wednesday.
Organised by União Zoófila, a leading association in terms of the protection of abandoned, neglected and abused domestic animals in Portugal, the petition gathered 12,000 signatures in just 36 hours, and more than 90,000 in just one month.
To be discussed in parliament, a petition needs a minimum of 7,500 signatures, which is why União Zoófila say they are "certain" that this "will be discussed very soon" in the Assembly of the Republic, "raising the presentation of legislation projects on these matters”.
“The petitioners appeal to the Constitutional Court to promote an ethical and up-to-date interpretation of our fundamental law, including the protection of animals, and to the Assembly of the Republic to extend criminal protection to sentient animals, not just companion animals, which improve the rules in force and include the express reference to animals in the text of the Constitution”, says a statement by UZ.
The citizens' request comes after the Constitutional Court declared on three occasions that the current law was unconstitutional. The question of the unconstitutionality of the norm that criminalizes anyone who, without legitimate reason, kills or mistreats companion animals with a fine or imprisonment is being analysed once again, at the request of the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The signatories of the request declare themselves dissatisfied with the “inertia of the constituted powers”, adding that they understand that “those who mistreat must be punished”.
According to the statement, in addition to the petition, “a manifesto will also be delivered to the Assembly of the Republic and Parliamentary Groups, in which more than 40 prominent personalities in the area of law in Portugal and more than 50 associations and movements, call for the maintenance of criminal protection which protects companion animals”.
Earlier this year, on January 21st, thousands of people demonstrated in Lisbon, against the possibility of the law that criminalizes the mistreatment of animals to be declared unconstitutional.