The Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court sentenced a resident of the central Arab city of Taibe on Thursday to 27 months behind bars and fined him NIS 25,000 ($6,800) for hunting and abusing porcupines with trained dogs.
The man admitted within the framework of a plea deal to 14 charges of animal abuse with intent that caused severe suffering, and to hunting protected wild animals without a license or permit.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has long campaigned for stiffer sentences for wild animal abuse.
Its chief prosecutor, Shay Peretz, welcomed the court’s decision, saying the punishment was appropriate for abuse of protected wild animals in such a “systematic and disgraceful manner,” with “abject indifference to their plight.” The court was continuing a gradual trend of handing out more serious punishments for people who harm animals, Peretz said.
Chen Yitzhaki, of the state prosecution team, said: “The subject of animal cruelty often doesn’t receive significant expression in criminal law. However, the sentence handed down today by the Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court, which accepted the position of the prosecutor’s office, places the issue in its rightful place.
“The serious punishment given to the accused for his horrific actions towards the animals sends a clear and deterrent message, that harming animals will lead to a severe punishment that includes a long term behind bars and a significant fine.”
The porcupine, whose meat is considered a delicacy by some, is protected in Israel, where the law says hunting and trapping of wild animals is allowed only for inspectors of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority or those authorized by the INPA in writing to do so.