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Chamber supports ban on Czech fur farms in first reading

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Prague, Nov 9 (CTK) – Fur farms will end their operation in the Czech Republic by 2019 according to a bill that the Chamber of Deputies passed in first reading yesterday.
The draft amendment to the law on animal protection against torture was submitted by about one fourth of the members of the 200-seat Chamber. They say the conditions at fur farms meet the given standards but they do not meet the needs of wild animals.
Opponents of the bill say the ban on fur farms may lead to the establishment of illegal fur farms that will not be supervised by the State Veterinary Administration Authority.
Nine fur farms operate in the country, breeding mostly minks and foxes. Approximately 20,000 animals are killed at the farms a year. The number of farms has been declining for a long time.
Operators can apply for financial compensation for having closed down their fur farms, but the state need not compensate them.
The bill will be discussed in the lower house agricultural and environmental committees now.
Some deputies wanted to reject the bill already in first reading, but their proposal did not win enough support yesterday.
The bill introduces a ban on breeding and killing animals exclusively or primarily for the sake of gaining their furs. This means that it would not concern the breeding of rabbits and nutrias.
The Chamber took votes on other bills yesterday.
The government-sponsored amendment to the law on drugs makes it possible to ban re-exports of drugs to prevent their supplies from running out. Imported drugs were repeatedly lacking in the country because it was profitable for firms to export them again. The Chamber sent the bill to the Senate.
In first reading, the Chamber also supported the plan to increase tax deductions granted to voluntary blood donors and bone marrow donors to more motivate people to donate their blood or marrow.
In a shortened procedure, the Chamber passed the lowering of the value-added tax imposed on newspapers and magazines from 15 to 10 percent. Now, the senators will discuss the bill that aims to increase press sales. The cabinet rejected the Communist (opposition KSCM) bill last year, but many government MPs supported it yesterday, along with the opposition.

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