Mexico City—Humane Society International/Mexico, a leading animal protection organization, was invited to join the national meeting of State Environmental Attorney Generals, which gathers the top officials responsible for environmental and animal protection law enforcement at the State level across Mexico.
The event, in which HSI donated 3,000 humane education materials that are being sent to local animal protection organizations that partner with authorities (coloring books on playing safely with dogs), was an opportunity to strengthen numerous welfare policies including cooperation to improve animal welfare legislation and enforcement, response to extreme cruelty cases and education. The meeting was held in Mexico City on June 12 and 13 and was attended by the Attorney Generals of Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Mexico City, Coahuila, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Quintana Roo, and Sonora.
HSI/Mexico has a strong working partnership with Environmental Attorney Generals of Mexico City and Aguascalientes, among other agencies, to whom HSI has provided several trainings, hundreds of animal handling equipment items, and technical advice on animal welfare assessment. HSI and the Mexico City agency (PAOT) have jointly coordinated various animal cruelty operations, including two notorious hoarding cases together involving over 100 animals, as well as emergency veterinary clinics in response to the earthquake that shook Mexico City in September and in which over 1,000 animals were helped. Additionally, HSI, local organization Amigos Pro Animal and Aguascalientes State and Municipal authorities worked together to rescue nearly 200 animals from abuse and neglect last year.
This cooperation has also been directed to improve legislation. HSI and PAOT worked hand in hand to lobby in favor of amending the Federal Criminal Code to penalize dogfighters, reform the Mexico City Animal Protection Bill to ban the selling of animals in markets, and include an animal protection article in the new Mexico City Constitution that recognizes animals as sentient beings. These three bills were all enacted last year. In his remarks at the event, Anton Aguilar, executive director for HSI/Mexico, highlighted the positive outcomes of government and civil society partnerships to improve animal welfare policies and enforcement. HSI offered to extend its cooperation to other State Attorneys through trainings, technical advice on enhancing animal cruelty laws, and launching humane education programs. HSI/ Mexico was the only non-governmental organization invited to speak at the event.
“Most Mexicans oppose animal cruelty,” said Aguilar. “We need to continue working together to improve legislation and enforcement. Animal problems are human problems, and protecting animals is key as we work to build a better, safer and more humane society in Mexico.” A formal Memorandum of Understanding to extend enforcement cooperation between HSI Mexico and PAOT was renewed in the margins of the event.
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