CHIHUAHUA—Humane Society International welcomes the passage of a bill to penalize a host of activities related to dogfighting in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. Congresswoman Nadia Xóchitl Siqueiros Loera introduced the bill during a ceremony attended by HSI in August.
Dogfighting became a federal offense last June, thanks in part to HSI’s efforts to convince legislators that the activity is cruel, unpopular and harmful for society. The federal legislation adopted in June approved penalties for dogfighting and the activities surrounding it, including organizing fights, owning or trading a fighting dog, possessing property used to hold fights or attending a fight as a spectator. This was the first time any form of animal abuse has been penalized at the federal level in Mexico.
Dogfighters tend to have strong ties to organized crime. While the country’s federal criminal code now includes dogfighting, it is also important that each state penalize it in their respective criminal codes, since they will have jurisdiction in some cases (for instance, when dogfighting occurs outside federal facilities or when foreigners or officials are not involved).
Claudia Edwards, DVM, program director of HSI/Mexico, said: “We applaud the Chihuahua Congress for passing these much-needed reforms to the State Criminal Code to impose strong penalties on any dogfighting-related activity. Dogfighting is a criminal act that needs to be punished because of the immense suffering it causes to dogs as well as the violence that surrounds these illegal and underground activities. With this vote, Chihuahua legislators are sending a clear signal, and echoing what the Mexican public demands, that it’s time to root out animal cruelty and violence from Mexico.”
Legislators from other state congresses have presented similar initiatives to punish dogfighting in Mexico City and Sonora. A recent Parametria poll shows that 99 percent of Mexicans oppose dogfights and 85 percent support strong penalties for those involved in the business. Donate to support our efforts.
Media contacts: Mexico: Magaly Garibay, firstname.lastname@example.org, (55) 5211 8731 ext. 104/