Animal cruelty and abuse will be elevated to a felony with stricter punishments and the possibility of jail time under a legislative amendment being drafted by the Agriculture Ministry.
According to an announcement, Agriculture Minister Makis Voridis met on Thursday with prominent animal rights activist Panagiotis Milas, who has been working with local authorities to create a special department within the municipal police force to deal with animal cruelty.
The aim of the amendment will be to make it easier for authorities to prosecute animal abusers but also to introduce much stricter penalties.
The initiative comes in the wake of two shocking cases of animal abuse, the first in Crete – where a 55-year-old man hung his dog from a tree and castrated it with a pair of pliers before passing tourist intervened and saved the animals life – and the other in Nikaia in Piraeus, where a school teacher repeatedly stabbed a dog in the stomach and chest while another neighbor hit it with a metal rod.
The dogs in both incidents underwent surgery and are said to be recovering from their injuries.