New Animal-welfare Legislation Permits Cockfights, Spiritual Sacrifice

New Animal-welfare Legislation Permits Cockfights, Spiritual Sacrifice

Cuba on Saturday printed a brand new animal-welfare regulation, the nation’s first, offering fines in instances of abuse however not banning cockfights or animal sacrifices throughout non secular rites.

The laws is taken into account a victory for Cuba’s civil society, one of many first instances its calls for have turn into regulation within the Communist nation.





A person is seen coaching cocks to battle — a apply nonetheless allowed by a brand new animal-welfare regulation — in Havana on September 21, 2020
 AFP / YAMIL LAGE

On April 7, 2019, some 500 individuals marched in Havana to demand an animal-protection regulation, in what was the primary unbiased, nonpolitical mass demonstration ever licensed by the Cuban authorities.

In February, a number of dozen animal-rights activists assembled once more in entrance of the Agriculture Ministry.

The brand new decree, printed by the Council of State, says partly that the institution of guidelines guaranteeing “animal welfare and elevating consciousness in our inhabitants on the care and respect of animals is a requirement of our society.”



Dog fights are banned under Cuba's new animal-welfare law


Canine fights are banned underneath Cuba’s new animal-welfare regulation
 AFP / YAMIL LAGE

The target, it provides, is to attain “a harmonious relationship between human beings and different species, as an indispensable situation for the existence of all.”

In its Article 9, the decree forbids anybody “to impress a confrontation between animals of any species, except an exception is accredited by the related authority.”



This file photo taken in 2020 shows men working with dogs at a private canine beauty salon in Havana, where a new Cuban law extends protections to most animals


This file photograph taken in 2020 exhibits males working with canines at a personal canine magnificence salon in Havana, the place a brand new Cuban regulation extends protections to most animals
 AFP / YAMIL LAGE

Fights between canines are thus banned, however cockfights — a longtime custom in Cuba, seen even on the household property of Fidel Castro — stay authorized as long as they’re sponsored by particular state-supervised golf equipment.

Equally, animal sacrifices by the Santeria, the syncretic faith that originated in Nigeria earlier than being dropped at Cuba by enslaved individuals, are nonetheless licensed.

The decree does stipulate, nevertheless, that “animal sacrifices should be carried out quickly and compassionately, to keep away from ache and stress.”

Animals receiving safety embrace “all mammals, birds, bees, reptiles, fish, mollusks, crustaceans and amphibians,” and animal welfare is outlined as “the satisfactory state, from each bodily and psychological viewpoint, of an animal in situations of life and of loss of life.”

Animals should be “cared for and guarded by man,” the decree states. Violators will face fines of 500 to 4,000 pesos ($21 to $167).

Grettel Montes de Oca, founding father of the Cubans in Protection of Animals rights group, known as the brand new regulation a constructive “first step.”

“The street might be very lengthy,” the activist informed AFP, including that she heard about it whereas looking for meals for her 60 animals, with shortages of fundamentals incessantly an issue in Cuba.

“However it’s certainly constructive that now there’s a regulation,” even when “there are a lot of issues (within the textual content) that aren’t good,” she mentioned.


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