Cuba: New animal-welfare law allows cockfights, religious sacrifice

Cuba: New animal-welfare law allows cockfights, religious sacrifice

HAVANA– Cuba on Saturday released a brand-new animal-welfare law, the nation’s very first, offering fines in cases of abuse however not prohibiting cockfights or animal sacrifices throughout spiritual rites.

The legislation is thought about a triumph for Cuba’s civil society, among the very first times its needs have actually ended up being law in the Communist nation.

On April 7, 2019, some 500 individuals marched in Havana to require an animal-protection law, in what was the very first independent, nonpolitical mass presentation ever licensed by the Cuban federal government.

In February, a couple of lots animal-rights activists put together once again in front of the Agriculture Ministry.

The brand-new decree, released by the Council of State, states in part that the facility of guidelines ensuring “animal welfare and raising awareness in our population on the care and respect of animals is a demand of our society.”

The goal, it includes, is to accomplish “a harmonious relationship between human beings and other species, as an indispensable condition for the existence of all.”

In its Article 9, the decree prohibits anybody “to provoke a confrontation between animals of any species, unless an exception is approved by the relevant authority.”

Fights in between canines are therefore prohibited, however cockfights– a long time custom in Cuba, seen even on the household residential or commercial property of Fidel Castro– stay legal so long as they are sponsored by particular state-supervised clubs.

Similarly, animal sacrifices by the Santeria, the syncretic religious beliefs that came from Nigeria prior to being given Cuba by enslaved individuals, are still licensed.

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The decree does specify, nevertheless, that “animal sacrifices must be carried out rapidly and compassionately, to avoid pain and stress.”

Animals getting defense consist of “all mammals, birds, bees, reptiles, fish, mollusks, crustaceans and amphibians,” and animal well-being is specified as “the adequate state, from both physical and mental viewpoint, of an animal in conditions of life and of death.”

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

Grettel Montes de Oca, creator of the Cubans in Defense of Animals rights group, called the brand-new law a favorable “first step.”

“The road will be very long,” the activist informed AFP, including that she became aware of it while looking for food for her 60 animals, with lacks of essentials often an issue in Cuba.

“But it is surely positive that now there is a law,” even if “there are many things (in the text) that are not good,” she stated.

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Cuba: New animal-welfare law allows cockfights, religious sacrifice