Mongolia

Mongolia Enacts Historic Animal Rights Law

Mongolia Passes Landmark Pet Law to Protect Animal Companions

Mongolia has achieved a historic milestone by passing its first-ever law to protect animal companions, known as The Pet Law. This momentous achievement comes after years of relentless campaigning and advocacy by Mongolian partner Lucky Paws, with the support of over 17,000 In Defense of Animals supporters who advocated for the legislation.

The new law represents a significant shift in Mongolia’s approach to animal welfare, particularly for homeless cats and dogs in Ulaanbaatar. Previously, authorities allocated substantial funds to cruelly poison and shoot homeless animals, resulting in the annual shooting of approximately 90,000 to 100,000 stray dogs at a cost of USD 420,000 to USD 450,000 to taxpayers. However, under the new law, the shooting of stray animals is now prohibited, and there is a focus on prioritizing birth control to reduce homeless animal populations.

The legislation promotes a more humane and responsible approach to animal guardianship, offering legal animal custodians a range of new rights and responsibilities. These include public access, freedom from discrimination and abuse, and compensation for animal abusers, along with the responsibility of registering, training, and spaying or neutering animal companions. Additionally, the law bans the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops and imposes regulations on breeders, with an exemption for breeders of the Mongolian Bankhar dog.

The impact of The Pet Law extends beyond Mongolia, setting a new global standard for animal rights and welfare. The legislation enforces protection for domestic animals, imposes penalties for specific animal abuses, and ends the inhumane practice of shooting homeless dogs for population control. It also promotes responsible guardianship by conferring rights and responsibilities, including spaying and neutering, and restricts and regulates animal breeding and sales.

By strictly enforcing The Pet Law, Mongolia could follow in the footsteps of Bhutan, which recently became the world’s first country to sterilize all street dogs. While the homeless animal population is expected to decrease over time, the current challenges facing the approximately 70,000 street animals in Ulaanbaatar include a lack of access to basic veterinary equipment. In Defense of Animals’ supporters have raised funds to send an X-ray machine to Lucky Paws, ensuring that the organization can continue to save homeless animals while effectively implementing The Pet Law.

 

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