Monday, January 11, 2010

New Law for Animal Protection in Venezuela

Dear Animal Protectionists,

Venezuela has issued a new animal protection law for domestic and animals in captivity. While there are some improvements in the law the rules need to be enhanced to create a better environment for domestic and service animals.

Ley para la Protección de la Fauna Doméstica libre y en cautiverio

First of all, the new law only allows seeing eye service dogs in public places. Never mind the advances that we have achieved in the United States with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) where people with musculoskeletal disorders, post-traumatic stress, seizures and other disabilities have the right to bring their trained service dog to all public places backed by federal and state laws.

The most questionable policy in the new animal protection law is that effective the year 2014 all pit bulls dogs will be prohibited in Venezuela! Pit bulls are dangerous animals; however, raised under the appropriate care these dogs can be gentle. It is unethical to eradicate an animal specie in a country just because it can be dangerous. What is the government going to do about people who currently have pit bulls as their loving pet at home? Are these pets be grandfathered until their pass on? Some animal protectionists’ experts in the United States suggest using pit bulls for police law enforcement, and training them correctly to avoid danger.

Further, the new law prohibits dog fights with severe penalties to abusers. I could not agree more with this rule; however, what about bull and cock fights which are popular in Venezuela? Are the new rules against animal abuse be imposed against folks engaged in an open cockfight as I have seen in Venezuela? Will bullfights be eliminated? While carefully reading the law the description of animal abuse should apply directly to bullfights and cockfights.

I urge Venezuelan authorities to review and improve this uncompassionate new animal protection law.


Maru Angarita

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