The Knesset’s Tuesday session lasted about two and a half hours. Six bills were discussed. Two bills became law after passing their third readings, and four bills were advanced after passing their preliminary readings. The four bills advanced all concern animal rights issues, marking the Knesset’s celebration of Animal Rights Day.

 

Non-Bills Summary

* 13 MKs spoke during the one minute speech segment that opened the day. Most of the speeches were on the topic of Animal Rights Day.

* Six MKs and Agriculture Minister Noked (Independence) discussed a motion on Animal Rights Day. It was sent for further discussion in committee by an 8-0 vote.

Bills Summary

 

Amendment to the Protecting Animals Bill

MK Cabel (Labor) said he is proud to be the leader of the animal rights lobby in the Knesset. He revealed this is the most pro-animal Knesset in Israel’s history, where members of all parties support animal rights. He said this amendment will regulate the neutering of animals and reduce the number of animals killed in shelters by increasing government supervision of these areas. He said that the government inspectors will be allowed to enter private property in order to enforce these new regulations.

Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 9-0 and was sent to the Culture Committee.

Amendment to the Protecting Animals Bill

MK Khenin (Hadash) said a society is judged based on how they treat their animals. He explained his amendment would regulate animal-related occupations. He said animals that are meant for eating are treated very poorly. He said there are problems of hurting animals because of financial interest and problems that come from an immoral place. He went back to his bill and said the new regulations will force people who work with animals to hold and transfer animals in a humanitarian way. He said regulations would also be updated on the method in which animals are killed, training animals and animals used in festivals and sporting events.

Agriculture Minister Noked (Independence) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 12-0 and was sent to the Culture Committee.

Amendment to the Protecting Animals Bill

MK Zeev (Shas) explained his amendment would require the government to provide education for its employees on the prevention of hurting animals. He slammed Education Minister Sa’ar (Likud) for asking him to take out the provision that would have required the schools to teach the subject as well. He said protecting animals is a commandment from God found in the Torah and everyone must follow it. He read out several Jewish sources that consider cruelty to animals a sin.

Agriculture Minister Noked expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 9-0 and was sent to the Culture Committee.

Amendment to the Rabies Ordinance Bill

MK Wilf (Independence) explained her amendment would ease the regulations on isolation of animals suspected of rabies. She said additionally the killing of these animals will be reduced dramatically and the animals will be allowed to be set free in most cases.

Agriculture Minister Noked expressed government support for the bill.

MK Eldad (N.U.) objected to the bill on the grounds that it hurts the balance between protecting people from animals and animals from people. He said that every person who ever got rabies died and there is a reason the government regulations are so tough on animals suspected of rabies. He recalled a soldier that died of rabies under his watch as the general of the army’s medical corps. He said the government is irresponsible for supporting this terrible bill. MK Zeev said these dogs must be killed. Eldad said there are many new loopholes that are created in this bill that hasn’t been changed since the British mandate and they can cause an outbreak of rabies by irresponsible animal owners.

MK Wilf said that the bill hasn’t been changed in over 60 years and medicine has advanced since then. She stated the time has come to update it and this bill creates a perfect balance and doesn’t put humans in danger.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 7-2 and was sent to the House Committee to decide which committee will discuss the bill.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

MK Shemtov (Y.B.) explained the amendment would allow university student interns to turn their internship into tax deduction points in certain cases. She thanked the Knesset for approving her bill and everyone who helped her advance it.

The bill passed its second reading 6-0.

The bill passed its third reading 7-0.

Amendment to the Motor Vehicle Insurance Ordinance Bill

Finance Committee Chairman Shama (Likud) explained the amendment would lower the two-wheel car insurance rates. He said the minimum monthly payment of NIS 6,500 was impossible. He stated this bill was advanced despite a fierce battle between the finance ministry and his committee. He said the minimum payment will go down to a monthly payment of NIS 4,000. He expressed regret he couldn’t lower it more but said he is happy he was able to lower it all. He noted the bill will take effect on May 1. He thanked his assistants for helping him pass this bill and the MKs who stayed to approve his bill.

The bill passed its second reading 6-0.

The bill passed its third reading 6-0.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s February 28, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/01260112.doc

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