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April 5, 2012

HSI Urges Panama President to Approve Unprecedented Animal Protection Law

Humane Society International

  • Cruelty is not entertainment. istock

Humane Society International is urging Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli to sign Animal Protection Bill 308 into law. When enacted, the bill will criminalize animal cruelty, ban dogfighting and prohibit all forms of bullfighting. It was approved by the National Assembly on March 15.

“We urge President Martinelli to sign this law to protect many animals from cruelty,” said Alexandra Rothlisberger, HSI program manager for Latin America. “The Panama National Assembly is to be congratulated for leading in the effort to protect animals from unnecessary abuse.”

The bill’s inclusion of a ban on dogfighting and of both the Spanish and Portuguese forms of bullfighting is particularly important in the region. Banning these two forms of cruelty for entertainment is forward thinking and central to the humane reforms taking place in Panama.

HSI condemns dogfighting, in which participating dogs frequently sustain severe, even fatal injuries, bullfighting, and all other bull fiesta events, which cause terrible stress, panic and suffering to the animals.


  • Opposition to bullfighting and bull fiestas in general has increased in recent years. In recent scientific polls, 73 percent of Mexicans state that they do not like bullfighting, 78 percent of Colombians oppose bullfighting due to animal cruelty concerns and 73.5 percent of Peruvians are against bullfighting. The polls were conducted by Parametria, Caracol Radio and the Universidad de Lima, respectively.
  • Bullfighting is a cruel and senseless event in which the bulls are inflicted with enormous amounts of pain and discomfort.
  • Dogs fight to the death in dogfights, often with tens of thousands of dollars at stake.
  • Dogfighters sometimes kill the losing dogs, and even winning dogs may die from their wounds.
  • Police often discover drugs, guns and other crimes in connection with dogfights.


Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440; rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations—backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org.

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