Human Interest

Cuba publishes animal-welfare law but allows cockfights, religious sacrifices

Havana, Apr 11 (EFE).- Cuba has published a new law that lays down fines for animal abuse but allows cockfights and animal sacrifices for religious purposes.

The law approved in February and published Saturday provides fines of between 1,500 pesos and up to 4,000 pesos (about $160) for those who mistreat, promote fights, or cause animal deaths.

The Cuban civil society considers the regulation a victory after a two-year battle over causes like animal rights, gender neutrality, and LGTBI rights.

Hundreds of people had in April 2019 marched in Havana for an animal-protection law in the Communist country.

The law will come into force from July.

It defines animal welfare as “the adequate state, from both physical and mental viewpoint, of an animal in conditions of life and of death.”

“All mammals, birds, bees, reptiles, fish, mollusks, crustaceans and amphibians” are protected under the law that says these “should not be abandoned nor subjected to abuse.”

However, the law allows animal sacrifices for religious purposes.

Cockfights, organized by the gallic clubs, are also allowed as per the law.

It also regulates animals used for experimental purposes and the sanitary-veterinary requirements for the marketing, transport, housing, restraint, and slaughter of animals.

Animal slaughters should be carried out “compassionately and quickly, avoiding pain and stress.”

The approval of the animal welfare law was initially scheduled for November last year.

Its delay sparked a rare protest in February near the Ministry of Agriculture in Havana. EFE


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