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March 21, 2016

Cruel Kots Kaal Pato Festival in Yucatan, Mexico to End

Izamal Municipality to end spectacle of immense animal cruelty

Humane Society International

  • HSI sponsored a humane fiesta featuring family friendly activities, including Pinatas, to replace the cruel Kots Kaal Pato festival. Felipe Marquez/HSI

  • Felipe Marquez/HSI

  • Felipe Marquez/HSI

  • Felipe Marquez/HSI

  • Felipe Marquez/HSI

Update, April 23: With the cancelation of Kots Kaal Pato, which would have taken place today, local authorities and HSI are marking the celebration of Saint Bartolo with cruelty-free activities, including traditional sports and contests. Celebrities Mr. Marco Antonio Regil and Mr. Eugenio Derbez, who kindly support HSI's campaigns to help farm animals, sent video messages to express their congratulations.

Kots Kaal Pato, an annual Yucatan ritual of stringing up small animals like piñatas and beating them to death or cutting off their heads, has been permanently canceled. The decision to end the cruelty was agreed upon by the Izamal Municipality in cooperation with local Catholic Church authorities, local animal protection organizations and Humane Society International.

The longstanding April event was held in honor of Saint Bartolo in misguided beliefs to accelerate the rainy season.

Felipe Marquez, HSI/Mexico animal protection expert, said: “We are thrilled that this so-called fiesta is finally over. There is no excuse, cultural or religious, for this outrageous and inhumane practice to continue. Events like Kots Kaal Pato encourage animal abuse and that hurts our society and damages Mexico’s global image. We’ll continue to work with Izamal officials to ensure the ban is complete.”

As part of the agreement with HSI, authorities will only promote the organization of fiestas in which no animal will be injured or killed. These will include traditional sports and contests that provide cruelty-free entertainment for the people of Izamal.

HSI commends: Mr. Warnel May Escobar, Mayor of Izamal; Congressman Josué David Camargo Gamboa, Chair of the Environment Commission of Yucatan Congress; local organizations AFAD, A.C. and Movimiento Consciencia, A.C.; local activist Cathy Karam Sanchez and religious authorities for their cooperation and resolve to bring Kots Kaal Pato to an end. A letter of intent formally committing all stakeholders will be signed next month.

This significant achievement halts a cruel practice that had continued for more than 100 years. With the end of Kots Kaal Pato, Mexico embraces its journey towards becoming a more humane and caring society.

Media Contacts:
In Mexico: Edgar Islas, eislas@ideeconsulting.com, +52 55 52118731; Celia Balmori, cblmori@ideeconsulting.com
In the United States: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301.721.6440

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