The number of serious cases involving animal abuse has increased considerably in recent years, according to a number of animal welfare associations.
Animal welfare organisation Dyreværnet went from registering 136 cases in 2012 to 503 cases just two years later in 2014.
“All the animals are in such bad shape that they’ve arrived in ambulances,” Signe Sehested Lund, the head of Dyreværnet, told Metroxpress newspaper.
”Neglected, malnourished, cancer-ridden, pain-suffering and animals not able to walk – more than one animal is registered every day.”
Another animal welfare organisation, Dyrenes Beskyttelse, saw over 3,000 cases last year – a tripling of cases in just five years.
The food and agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, wants tougher punishments for animal abusers and is looking to change the law to do so.
“I think that the punishment for animal abuse should be increased so the level of punishment reflects the viciousness of the crime,” Jørgensen said.
“Animals are thinking beings who can feel angst and pain and are often defenceless. It must be stopped and abusers must know that we find it completely unacceptable to exert violence against animals.”
Currently, the law allows for a maximum sentence of a year in prison for first-time offenders and two years for repeat offenders. Fines for first-time offences can run up to 5,000 kroner for individuals and 25,000 kroner for businesses.