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Polish farmers protest new animal welfare bill

Polish farmers demonstrated in Warsaw on Tuesday against a draft bill on animal welfare that would ban fur farms and exports of meat from ritual slaughter.

On Tuesday, farmers coming from all over the country blocked a roundabout in central Warsaw and marched towards parliament and other government buildings.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, demonstrators registered six demonstrations – each of which can count no more than 150 people – though it is unclear whether these limits were observed.

The draft law in question was provisionally accepted by the lower house and is currently being debated by the senate.

Farmers demand that it be rejected.

In view of the protests, on Monday Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had announced that some amendments would be introduced to the bill.

The proposed changes would postpone the date by which fur farms need to close to January 2022, and ease the ban on exporting meat from ritual slaughter for poultry products.

The animal welfare bill, which is considered to be important to Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, has caused discontent within the PiS ranks.

Some PiS politicians fear that the legislation may alienate the party’s farming voters.

Former Agriculture Minister Jan Ardanowski lost his post over his opposition to the draft bill. (dpa/NAN)

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