Mongolia passes first-ever Animal Rights Law

Mongolia has passed its first-ever law protecting animal companions called The Pet Law. This monumental achievement follows years of tireless campaigning and advocacy by its Mongolian partner, Lucky Pawswith the support of over 17,000 In Defense of Animals supporters who wrote to decision-makers.

The law marks a significant change in Mongolia’s approach to animal companion welfare. Previously, homeless cats and dogs in Ulaanbaatar faced cruel fates, with authorities allocating substantial funds annually to poison and shoot homeless animals. This cost taxpayers USD 420,000 to USD 450,000 to horrifically shoot 90,000 to 100,000 stray dogs annually, not including cats. The shooting of stray animals is now prohibited and the law obliges all levels of government to prioritize birth control to reduce homeless animal populations.

The new legislation offers a more humane and responsible approach, focusing on the protection of animal companions and promoting responsible guardianship. Legal animal custodians will enjoy a range of new rights including public access and enhanced access for people with disabilities, freedom from discrimination and abuse, and compensation from animal abusers. New responsibilities include registering, training, and spaying or neutering animal companions, and guardians must have income to provide food, shelter, and medical care for their pets.

The Pet Law also bans the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops and obliges breeders to obtain a license, pay taxes, and microchip animals. Breeders of the Mongolian Bankhar dog are exempted.

What The Pet Law Means for Mongolia & the World: The Pet Law enforces protection for domestic animals, imposes penalties for specific animal abuses by private individuals, and ends the shooting of homeless dogs for population control.

  • It promotes responsible guardianship by conferring rights and responsibilities, including spaying and neutering.
  • It restricts and regulates animal breeding and sales.
  • It recognizes animal rights and welfare, setting a new global standard for other countries to follow.

Through strict enforcement of The Pet Law, Mongolia could follow Bhutan’s lead which recently became the world’s first country to sterilize all street dogs. The homeless animal population will shrink over time, but 70,000 street animals in Ulaanbaatar currently face severe challenges including lack of access to basic veterinary equipment. In Defense of Animals’ supporters have raised 30% of the funds needed to send an X-ray machine to Lucky Paws so that the organization can continue saving homeless animals while ensuring that The Pet Law is effectively implemented.

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