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October 15, 2012

Dogfighting in Costa Rica

Humane Society International/Latin America

Humane Society International/Latin America works with Costa Rican law enforcement to investigate acts of animal cruelty, especially dogfighting cases. Since early 2012, the Department of Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture has been targeting the dogfighting industry in Costa Rica.

While dog and cockfighting is illegal in Costa Rica, it is widespread and often accompanied by the presence of illegal drugs, gambling and firearms. The raids conducted by the Costa Rican government have uncovered a large industry that focuses its efforts on promoting and continuing the cruel and illegal practice of dogfighting.

Many illegal breeding facilities have been uncovered during investigations of the dogfighting industry, where dogs of various breeds and often “important” bloodlines are bred so that their offspring can be sold into the painful world of dogfighting. These breeding facilities are often cramped and unhygienic, and many of these animals will go for long periods of time without seeing the light of day.

Additionally, because these dogs are used for illegal fighting, they often don’t have access to veterinarians as their owners are hoping to avoid detection. This further increases these animals' susceptibility to disease, malnutrition and other ailments resulting from inadequate medical care.