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November 10, 2015

HSI Applauds Mexican Senate for Working to Improve Animal Welfare Legislation

Lawmakers urged to bring comprehensive animal protection to the federal level

Humane Society International

  • HSI/Mexico's Anton Aguilar signs a joint statement on animal welfare at the Mexican Senate. HSI

MEXICO CITY — Humane Society International, a leading animal welfare organization, applauds members of the Mexican Senate for discussing ways to contribute to the enactment of comprehensive animal welfare legislation during a forum being held today. The Forum convened senators from all major political parties, government officials and business and NGO representatives, including three experts from HSI.

Mexico lacks a federal animal welfare law to provide a general framework for the protection of all animals. The current legal framework is inadequate and incomplete. At the federal level, existing legislation regulates wildlife and farm animals only. State legislation deals mainly with companion animals and not all states have enacted animal welfare laws. For about 10 years, Congress has been unable to pass a comprehensive animal welfare law. In the current legislature, three different initiatives have been introduced by different parliamentary groups.

Anton Aguilar, director of HSI/Mexico, said: “It is time to overcome political differences and pave the way for the enactment of a law that acknowledges the social, environmental and economic importance of animals. Public opinion and politicians are growingly concerned about animal welfare. A window of opportunity has opened to enact legislation that includes, among other provisions, a federal ban on the cruelest forms of animal abuse, such as dogfighting.”

HSI/Latin America director, Cynthia Dent, discussed the significant progress being made on animal welfare legislation in Central America, including the enactment of a dogfighting ban in Costa Rica and an animal welfare law in Honduras this year. Andrew Lurie, a senior attorney for international law and trade with The Humane Society of the United States, addressed design challenges to companion animal legislation, and urged lawmakers to craft well-defined, effective and enforceable laws. HSI is The HSUS’ global arm.

State legislatures have made gradual progress for animals in Mexico. This year, Coahuila banned bullfighting, and Oaxaca reformed its penal code to criminalize animal abuse. HSI calls on the Mexican Senate to continue with this positive trend.

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras, 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org