Victory! Mongolia Passes Historic Animal Rights Law Ending Poisoning & Shooting of 300,000 Street Dogs & Cats

Victory! Mongolia Passes Historic Animal Rights Law Ending Poisoning & Shooting of 300,000 Street Dogs & Cats

In a groundbreaking victory for animal rights, we are thrilled to proudly announce that Mongolia has passed its first law protecting animal companions, the Pet Law. This monumental achievement follows years of dedicated tireless campaigning and advocacy by our Mongolian partner Lucky Paws with the support of over 17,000 In Defense of Animals supporters who wrote to decision-makers.

In Defense of Animals partnered with Lucky Paws in 2021 to aid street animals in Mongolia. Lucky Paws rescues and provides care for hundreds of street animals in Mongolia, and has been the driving force behind this important new law. 

“This milestone honors our ancestors’ compassionate legacy towards animals. Mongolia’s adoption of its first animal rights law is a landmark achievement and a culmination of Lucky Paws’ decade-long dedication by volunteers, advocating for a society where kindness prevails for both humans and animals. Our gratitude extends to Parliament member and Pet Law sponsor, Battumur Enkhbayar, and all supporters who made this possible. This law not only embodies our collective aspiration for a humane society but also calls on each of us to responsibly uphold these vital protections. Respect for all life is paramount – all animals deserve to live!” 

— Bujinlkham Erdenebat, Lucky Paws

A member of the Lucky Paws legal team presents the Pet Act to the State Great Khural. Photo: Lucky Paws

Our Director of Communications and International Partnerships, Fleur Dawes, visited Mongolia to document the plight of animals, provide aid, meet with key stakeholders, and host a training session for Lucky Paws in 2022. 

“Mongolia has set a new standard for animal respect and dignity that other countries should aspire to. The Pet Law marks a watershed moment not only for Mongolia but for the global animal rights movement. We are inspired by this historic achievement and proud to have supported the dedicated work of Lucky Paws to make it happen.”

— Fleur Dawes, In Defense of Animals

In Defense of Animals presented Representative Enkhbayar Battur with over 17,000 signatures backing the Pet Act at the Lucky Paws Be Pawsitive 2 event. Photo: Lucky Paws

The law marks a significant change in Mongolia's approach to animal companion welfare. Previously, homeless cats and dogs in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar faced cruel fates, with authorities allocating substantial funds annually to poison and shoot homeless animals. This cost taxpayers $420,000 to $450,000 to shoot 90,000 to 100,000 stray dogs each year. The shooting of stray animals is now prohibited and the law obliges all levels of government to prioritize birth control to reduce homeless animal populations.

Government shooting and poisoning of homeless dogs and cats will end thanks to the Pet Law. Photo: Lucky Paws

The new legislation offers a more humane and responsible approach, focusing on the protection of animal companions and promoting responsible guardianship. Legal animal custodians will enjoy a range of new rights including public access and enhanced access for people with disabilities, freedom from discrimination and abuse, and compensation from animal abusers. New responsibilities include registering, training, and spaying or neutering animal companions, and guardians must have income to provide food, shelter, and medical care.

The Pet Law also bans the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops and obliges breeders to obtain a license, pay taxes, and microchip animals. Breeders of the Mongolian Bankhar dog are exempted because of efforts to protect the endangered national mastiff.

Breeders of the Mongolian Bankhar dog are exempted from the Pet Law. Photos: Аркадий Зарубин/Wikimedia Commons, In Defense Of Animals

In Defense of Animals and Lucky Paws commend the Mongolian Parliament for recognizing the importance of animal rights and taking a stand against cruelty. This law is a significant step toward creating a more compassionate world for all living beings.

What The Pet Law Means for Mongolia & the World:

  • The Pet Law enforces protection for domestic animals, imposing penalties for specific animal abuses by private individuals and ending the shooting of homeless dogs for population control.
  • It promotes responsible guardianship by conferring rights and responsibilities, including spaying and neutering.
  • It restricts and regulates animal breeding and sales.
  • It recognizes animal rights and welfare, setting a new global standard for other countries to follow.

The Pet Law will end the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores and outlaw unregulated sales of domestic animals like these kittens at a black market in Ulaanbaatar. Photo: In Defense of Animals

Through strict enforcement of the Pet Law, Mongolia could follow Bhutan’s lead which recently became the world’s first country to sterilize all street dogs. The homeless animal population will shrink over time, but 70,000 street animals in Ulaanbaatar currently face severe challenges including lack of access to basic veterinary equipment. In Defense of Animals supporters have raised 30% of the funds needed to send an X-ray machine to Lucky Paws so it can continue saving homeless animals while ensuring the Pet Law is effectively implemented.

When black cat Baby broke her leg, an X-ray at a private clinic saved her life. Urgent support is needed to get all street animals in Ulaanbaatar 24/7 access to an affordable X-ray. Photos: Lucky Paws

Strict enforcement of the Pet Law will eventually end animal homelessness in Mongolia, but thousands of animals will suffer until that day. You can make life a little warmer for street animals living in the coldest capital city on Earth by making a gift toward basic veterinary equipment at