|Campaigns In the Knesset Media Coverage: Nfc, 28 November 2006|
The Animal Lobby:
By Hadar Farber
28 November 2006
Translated from Hebrew
The Animal Protection Lobby that was established for the first time ever in the Knesset, convened today (28.11.06) for its first meeting, with the severe situation in the city pounds on its agenda.
The Lobby is headed by MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima), who initiated its establishment in cooperation with Hakol Chai. Today's meeting was attended by about sixty representatives of animal protection charities and representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment.
MK Yoel Hasson said in the meeting: "The animal issue was my first interest as a kid. When I entered the Knesset, I was certain that this subject was being addressed, and I looked for a way to participate, but I was surprised to discover that there is nothing in the Knesset that takes care of the animals' well being. The Lobby's success is expressed by the cooperation of all the animal care charities. Perhaps the first task should be changing the name of the 'Law Against Cruelty Towards Animals' to 'Animals' Rights'; this will begin the change."
Hakol Chai's Director, Adv. Yadin Elam, complimented MK Yoel Hasson's initiative to lead parliamentary steps for the protection of animals, and added that "We regret that the important subject of animal protection has been limited to date to efforts of only few Knesset members. "MK Yoel Hasson is a member of the Education and Sports Committee, which deals, among others, with regulations against cruelty towards animals.
Elam emphasized that many pets "encounter a harsh reality in the city pounds. There are pounds in which puppies are kept in the nightly frost on cold concrete, and many are destined to live in crowded conditions until their inevitable death."
At the conclusion of a stormy discussion between the representatives of the charities and the representatives of the government ministries, the lobby decided to work in several directions. MK Yoel Hasson will meet with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the condition of the pounds and ways to improve them.
It was further decided to attempt to standardize the activities of volunteers in the pounds, in order to introduce "humanity" into them and change their atmosphere. Another mode of action is the enhancement and standardization of supervision over the pounds.
Dogs arrive at city pounds nearly every day, after having been captured by the authorities. Many of them usually come from homes, having been lost or in more severe cases abandoned, and many times it is difficult to locate their owners, since not all of them have an electronic chip that holds their details. The pounds are usually crowded, and the expression "a dog's life" has not been invented in vain – due to the crowdedness and the expense, the cells are usually not warm enough, and they certainly do not provide a "home" for the dogs who are awaiting adoption and are at times put to death.