First arrest under 2014 Animal Welfare Act

The Thai police arrested a man accused of harming a dog under the 2014 Animal Welfare Act, the first arrest since the law was enacted last month.   

According to Voice TV, police officers in northeastern Nong Khai Province on Monday charged Kamdee Kotata, a 50-years-old villager, under the 2014 Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Provision of Animal Welfare Act for throwing a knife at a dog, which ended up cutting the dog’s face, after the dog bit his chicken.

He was charged after a person identified only as Jomsri, the dog owner, filed a complaint of animal torture against him with police on Monday.

A police officer inspecting the injured dog that was attacked by Kamdee on 5 January 2015

This is the first arrest under the 2014 Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Provision of Animal Welfare Act since it was enacted on 27 December 2014.

According to the Act, whoever carries out torture and other cruel treatment of an animal can be imprisoned for up to two years and fined up to 40,000 baht (1,215 USD). In addition, animal torture cases cannot be compromised.

After the case was publicized, however, many people posted on social media that the police should also charge the owner of the dog for negligence in allowing it to cause harm to the neighbour’s chickens.

Prior to the implementation of the 2014 Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Provision of Animal Welfare Act, Thailand had never had strict legal protection for animal welfare. The only law related to animal protection was Article 381 of the Criminal Code which states that those engaged in the torture of animals or used unnecessary cruel methods to kill animals can be imprisoned for up to a month and fined up to 1,000 baht (30 USD).