This procedure applies to both newly introduced animals and animals kept until the date of adoption of the law, only the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection provides for different dates of its entry into force.
94 members of the Seimas voted in favor of its adoption on Tuesday, nine were against and 22 parliamentarians abstained.
Amendments to the law will take effect on May 1 of this year, and animals brought in after that will have to be marked and registered within four months. Cats, dogs and ferrets brought in before 1 May will have to be marked and registered for one year, by 1 May 2022, but no later than the transfer to another owner or keeper.
If cats, dogs or ferrets are used for commercial breeding and are brought in before 1 May, they will be required to be marked and registered before 1 September this year.
The law also banned the sale of animals in markets and in the field, and veterinarians are required to inform the responsible authorities when there is a suspicion of cruelty to an animal.
The Animal Welfare and Protection Act has also been supplemented with a new definition of what will be considered crippling of animals. These will be actions or omissions that injure parts of the animal’s body, organs and cause harmful residual phenomena to its physical and mental health.
Back in 2012, the Seimas had decided that from 2016 all dogs, cats and ferrets must be microchiped and registered in the Register of Pets. However, in the summer of 2016, the Seimas abandoned the mandatory animal labeling introduced at the beginning of the year, arguing that due to the additional financial burden, “the majority of the population is not ready for it”.
Animal welfare concerns have re-emerged following reports last year of animal rights violations in illegal kennels.