A Kurdish vet named Sulaiman Tameer has been fighting for animals all his life. Tameer lives in the northern Iraq region of Kurdistan and is currently fighting for animal rights legislation to be passed by the government, The Guardian reports.

Tameer fled from Saddam Hussein’s government by riding a donkey into Turkey. He believes that animals saved his life and started the Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection. “The animals are my life,” he told the outlet.

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Tameer is pushing for legislation in an area without a dogfighting ban, hunting regulations, or slaughterhouse regulations. To address this, the veterinarian wrote a bill to address animal rights and provide some protection.

The bill includes protections for all points of an animal’s life, from breeding to slaughter. It also establishes a welfare council, fines for abuses, standards for zoos, breeders, and slaughterhouses.

While it’s a first for Iraq, the bill is slowly gaining traction with like-minded legislators and utilizes many principles found in Islam, Tameer’s religion. “Islam affirms that it is not permissible to harm animals, and citizens must deal with animals gently, especially animals that do not pose a threat to the individual and society,” says Dr. Abdulla Said Waisy of Kurdistan’s Union of Islamic Scholars.

Read more recent animal welfare news in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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