Breakthroughs and Setbacks in the Daily Struggle for Animal Rights
We constantly see information about different types of animal abuse. Also, we frequently hear news about the different initiatives to fight for the defense of innocent beings.
Latin America is making big steps in this field. The truth is that with all the breakthroughs and setbacks, the issue has managed to firmly establish itself in different parts of the world.
In Ecuador, for example, people recognize a day of National Mourning for the animals. This followed the case of a female dog named Dulce, which, was the victim of a case of zoophilia.
A case of zoophilia caused a protest in Quito and other cities of Ecuador, during which they claimed for the enforcement of laws that criminalize animal abuse.
Dulce’s Heartbreaking Story
Dulce was rescued from a neighborhood called La Ecuatoriana, located in the South of Quito, by members of the Ecuador Animal Protection Foundation (PAE).
When the veterinarians examined her, they could see that the dog’s vaginal and rectal tissues were totally destroyed. But moreover, the fur baby— a small, elderly half-breed—was famished and her bones could be felt the moment they touched her.
The medical professionals then decided to perform euthanasia to avoid any further suffering, since trying to rebuild the tissues, in her condition, only would have caused her more pain.
Ecuador Seeks to Advance Legislation on Animal Abuse
Even though the issue of mistreatment is included in the Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code, Ecuadorian activists demand that progress be made with the sanction of the Organic Law of Animal Welfare (LOBA).
This project seeks to legislate beyond pets, so as to include the rights of all animals. For example, they try to regulate:
- The use of animals in public shows.
- The pet trade and their exhibition for sale.
- The dissection of live animals for research purposes.
- The protection of wildlife living in the cities.
The initiative also promotes the adoption of previously sterilized pets.
What Does The Current Legislation State?
The new Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code in force deals with the mistreatment of companion animals in two of its articles.
Article number 249 punishes those who, by act or omission, damage, injure or deteriorate the physical integrity of a pet with penalties of between 50 and 100 hours of community service. And, in the case that the animal dies, it is established that whoever caused it will be imprisoned between 3 and 7 days.
In article 250, on the other hand, there is legislation about dogfighting. Those who commit the following acts will be imprisoned between 1 week and 10 days:
- Forcing dogs to participate or training them for fights.
- Organizing, promoting or scheduling these types of illegal activity.
If the dogs are mutilated, injured or die, the jail sentences extend to between two weeks and one month.
Educating for Change
Furthermore, in several Ecuadorian cities, including the capital, there are municipal ordinances in place that punish animal abuse. Its application is strictly enforced in some places, while in others they are quite a bit more lenient. Moreover, in some cities, there is no direct regulation.
There is also a national regulation on the possession of dogs that, as proven by its name, did not consider any other types of pets.
But beyond regulations that can be perfected, a fundamental change of paradigm needs to be imposed. One which involves educating people, ever since their childhood, about having respect for animals in particular and for nature in general.