A new piece of animal rights legislation introduced in Poland has led to a government crisis and divided Poland’s political scene, but what do Poles think about the issue?
According to a new survey conducted by the Institute for Social Research and Market (IBRiS) for news outlet Rzeczpospolita, the majority of Poles support the new legislation.
Even when it comes to the most controversial entries like the bill’s ban on breeding animals for fur, this portion of the legislation was supported by 68.3 percent of Poles, with 77 percent of women supporting the ban and 58 percent of men. Another 59.7 percent of people supported restrictions on the ritual killing of animals.
According to experts from Credit Agricole, meat from ritual killings comprises a sizeable amount of Polish meat export, amounting to 11.4 percent of beef exports and 6 percent of poultry exports, which together are worth €291 million.
Mariusz Dziwulski, an expert from PKO Polish Bank, pointed out that between 2017 and 2019, 10 to 20 percent of the Polish beef export may have come from ritual killings, which was 8 to 16 percent of its total production.
IBRiS head Marcin Duma told “Rzeczpospolita” that the issue of restrictions on ritual killings of animals is the least popular amendment in the new legislation. He added that by defending animal rights, Law and Justice (PiS) has chosen a good battlefield for their political struggle within the United Right.
“Support for higher animal rights protection concerns every single electorate, even the Polish People’s Party (PSL) and the Confederation,” he said.
Civic Coalition (PO) MP Katarzyna Maria Piekarska, who was the first initiator of an animal rights bill in modern Poland 20 years ago, emphasized that Polish consciousness concerning animal protection has grown rapidly in recent years.
In the past, it was difficult to even pass legislation which would fine mistreatment of animals.