Clarifications needed for animal husbandry law: NA

August 11, 2018 - 07:00

The National Assembly's Standing Committee has asked for changes to a draft law that includes animal welfare, animal rights and humane treatment of livestock to be explained.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on August 10 to discuss a draft law on animal husbandry and draft law on anti-corruption. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee has asked for changes to a draft law that includes animal welfare, animal rights and humane treatment of livestock to be explained.

Members of the committee in Friday’s meeting said that the new ideas in the draft remained largely new and vague for most people, so more details were needed.

The agriculture ministry, which compiled the law, was also asked to study international practices to come up with a more appropriate text.

Regarding welfare, the draft states that animals should be entitled to a proper living space and sufficient food and water. They should also not be beaten or tortured, left free from stress and pain-induced activities, and be euthanised prior to slaughtering.

Hà Ngọc Chiến, chairman of the NA Ethnic Affairs Committee, said the draft should also focus on disease prevention and treatment.

Climate change was also an emerging issue that needs to be addressed in a separate section of the law, he added.

“Extreme cold spells in recent years have devastated our livestock. In a single winter, northern mountainous provinces lost thousands of buffaloes, cows and horses, plunging households who had barely just climbed out of poverty right back to where they were,” Chiến said.

Other members of NASC raised the need for more stringent management of animal feed, which is a deciding factor in livestock productivity and quality.

NA Deputy Chairman, Phùng Quốc Hiển, also ordered stricter management of husbandry waste in every step of the production cycle, especially in rural areas.

At the meeting, NASC members stressed the importance of animal husbandry to the national economy.

Việt Nam had great potential for developing animal husbandry but small-scale production remained prevalent. “Strong policies and right strategies” must be drawn up to steer towards an industrial scale and close-looped production wherein food safety and breeding environment were better controlled, they said.

The NASC also called for a value-chain approach to livestock production to ensure the sustainable development of animal husbandry and match both domestic and foreign demands.

Other issues included in the draft law were also discussed at the meeting, such as reconciling the State’s interests with those of businesses and individuals in animal farming, promoting the private sector’s involvement, and deeper integration of science and technology.

Agriculture minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường said the ministry would incorporate feedback from the NA Standing Committee and from future conferences in order to present “the best version of the law” to the National Assembly for adoption in October.

On August 8, discussions focused on a draft law on crop production, during which lawmakers stressed the need to focus on streamlining administrative procedures to reduce burdens on businesses.

NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said this law held significant importance given that 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population was involved in agriculture and the country was striving towards modern production.

“The new law is expected to promote our advantages and free up bottlenecks in agricultural production to get the most out of our agricultural products and improve farmers’ livelihoods,” she said.

Unclear assets to be seized

In the afternoon, the lawmakers discussed the draft Law on Anti-Corruption, with a focus on Article 57. This article relates to handling assets or income without clear origins.

Three proposals were available for discussion including (1) collecting personal income tax, (2) imposing administrative sanctions for acts of dishonesty and non-transparency in explaining the origin of assets and income, and (3) establishing State ownership of the assets and the incomes in accordance with civil proceedings in court.

The deputies agreed to settle the case in civil proceedings so that the assets or income must go through the court. On the basis of documents and evidence, the court will rule whether the assets or the income belong to a person or are owned by the State. The other option is to collect taxes, and in case of tax evasion, the owner will face criminal proceedings.

Speaking to conclude the discussion, National Assembly Deputy Chairman Uông Chu Lưu said that, by any option, the draft law must ensure that all assets obtained through corruption and those with corrupt sources would be confiscated.

He added that the Law on Anti-Corruption must meet the requirements of combating corruption while ensuring suitability with the current socio-economic situation.

“This is an important law, which is expected to be adopted at the NA’s 6th session in late October, to address the current problems and shortcomings of the existing law,” he stressed. — VNS