A bill that had proposed changes to the treatment of pets and stray animals has been withdrawn from public discussion following vehement criticism by animal rights groups over its provisions.
Agricultural Development Minister Vangelis Apostolou said Tuesday the legislation would be reviewed and reopened to debate once the contentious provisions have been revised.
The Ecologist Greens party had described the bill as “unacceptable,” with animal rights groups highlighting 14 aspects that they object to.
In its current form, the bill seeks to prevent citizens and animal rights groups from helping strays, with fines or even prison sentences for such actions, the groups note.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the bill’s withdrawal and pledged to restart the dialogue from scratch.
In line with demands by animal rights groups, Mitsotakis said any legislative initiative must, among other things, protect animal, reduce the number of strays and provide training and information to pet owners.