The government has decided that for the first time in history, Norway will do a test project with a designated police for animals.
Minister of Agriculture Sylvi Listhaug (FrP/Progress Party) has announced that the government will complete an animal police test project.
"it is no secret that the Progress Party has been concerned with implenting some sort of arrangement for an animal police. The Minister of Justice and I have started a close cooperation where we will look at how we can organize such a project," Listhaug says.
Both ministries have already established a working group that will look at how such an arrangement should be organized. The group will work to find a model that can strengthen the police's role in animal cases.
Mattilsynet, the Norwegian food safety authority, thinks that today's sentencing for crimes against animals are much lower than what is stated by law, and thinks that a lack of knowledge about animals among the police is one of the reasons.
Less than two percent of the animal abuse cases the past six years have led to the deprivation of people's right to keep animals, according to the Police Directorate and Mattilsynet.
Line Kleveland, an attorney in Dyrevernalliansen ("the naimmal protection alliance"), praises the work that the government has now started.
"This is a victory for the animals and democracy," Kleveland tells Aftenposten. "The Progress Party stated in their party program that they wanted an animal police in Norway, and now they are following through."
Norway's Green Party is also very pleased with the government's decision. "Today we are cheering for Listhaug, Anundsen and the Progress Party," says Une Aina Bastholm, political advisor for animal welfare and agriculture, and deputy government representative for Rasmus Hansson.
The Green Party now expects that animal welfare and animal health will also be given much higher priority, including in the national budget.