October 16, 2015
Honduras’ National Congress Applauded for Approving Animal Welfare Law
Humane Society International commends multiparty commitment in the Congress
Honduran lawmakers approved a new animal welfare law that criminalizes the intentional mistreatment of animals, among other provisions. Humane Society International/Latin America congratulated the National Congress of Honduras, the Honduran Association for the Protection of Animals and the Environment and the Alliance for the Defense and Protection of Animal Welfare for the approval of the Law on Animal Protection and Welfare. The law has 36 articles and will be valid six months after its publication in the Official Paper.
The approval was given this week in the third and final debate and was ratified by a majority in the Congress; one of the law’s main achievements is Article 32 which qualifies as a crime the intentional mistreatment of animals causing death, and punishes with three to five years imprisonment and a fine. This law’s approval sets an important legal precedent in Honduras, putting in place legal measures for those who mistreat animals.
Cynthia Dent, executive director of HSI/Latin America, said: "It is enormously encouraging to see the positive response that the law has received in the Congress. This shows once again that awareness about the importance of animal welfare continues to grow and transcends party lines. We applaud the Honduran Congress for approving this much-needed law and the local NGOs we worked with for helping make this law a reality. We will continue to work with AHPRA and local organizations to address these crimes of abuse."
Karla Johanna Duarte, president of AHPRA, said: "Honduras’ adoption of the Law on Animal Protection and Welfare is a sign that we are evolving as a society, awakening sensitivity, respect, empathy and consideration for animals, whom we are morally obliged to protect. The organizations that participated in the process of approval of this new law will be vigilant in its correct application, and we will continue to fight for a Honduras without animal circuses and other harmful activities where these defenseless beings are exploited. We want a country where all animals are free from cruelty and treated with respect; it is our duty and commitment to fight for a fairer treatment towards them."
Animal groups in Honduras will continue to work to reform the law to address its shortcomings, including addressing cockfighting.