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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Ministers seek to enforce animal welfare

After years of complaints that animal protection laws are not enforced in Norway, and that cruelty cases go unpunished, two key government ministers aim to set up what they’re calling a dyrepoliti – literally, a police force for animals.

Most animal protection cases have been the responsibility of the state food safety agency Mattilsynet, and have involved cases of neglect on Norwegian farms. Officials at Mattilsynet themselves have worried they don’t have enough capacity and have complained that Norway’s state police doesn’t put enough priority on either animal neglect or cruelty cases.

“We have been critical about the police’s willingness to prioritize animal welfare cases,” Ole Fjetland, director of Mattilsynet, told newspaper Nationen. “We’ve also criticized police competence and willingness to investigate them.”

Now the state agriculture and justice ministries, both under the control of the Progress Party, are working together “to see how we can organize such work,” Agriculture Minister Sylvi Listhaug told Nationen. “It’s no secret the Progress Party wants to create some sort of animal police force.” Mattilsynet falls under Listhaug’s responsibility and the police under her party fellow, Justice Minister Anders Anundsen. It’s expected they’d win majority support in Parliament for an animal protection agency. staff



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