Kurdistan Parliament passes first-ever Animal Protection Law

Among other “forbidden practices,” all forms of animal fighting are outlawed, per the legislation.
author_image Kurdistan 24
A number of stray dogs is pictured in the Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil, April 2020. (Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP)
A number of stray dogs is pictured in the Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil, April 2020. (Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region, for the first time, now has a law that legally protects both wild and domesticated animals from abuse.

Kurdish lawmakers have recently passed a bill, which was presented by a number of members of parliament to protect the rights of animals in Iraq’s Kurdish region that previously lacked such legislation.

Among other “forbidden practices,” all forms of animal fighting are outlawed, per the legislation.

A new council, whose work is to be overseen by the head of the Council of Ministers, will be formed, consisting of representatives from various relevant government entities as well as members of animal rights groups, to preserve biodiversity, raise awareness on animals rights, and regulating shelters as well as slaughterhouses. 

Killing stray animals, by any means, is forbidden unless they pose “specific risks” to people and or other animals.

Controlling the population of stray animals will be via “fertility control” that shall be performed by public veterinarians.

A piece of land will be dedicated to sheltering stray dogs in each province, per the new law that also completely bans slaughtering wild animals.  

Citizens regularly complain about the rapid increase in the stray dog population in neighborhoods, in which bite incidents have been reported.