Caption:CUZCO, PERU - JUNE 2007: Images of a baby Condor on hand for tourists at Sacsayhuaman, an ancient Inca ground overlooking Cuzco, Peru, 23 June 2007. The Inti Raymi festival is the most spectacular Andean festival with over 500 actors re-enacting the the ceremony of adoration of the Sun God, personified by the Inca. Thousands of people fill the great square of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman to re-enact the ceremony. The festival brings together all the different Andean communities and provides an opportunity for these communities to come together. (Photo : Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
This is a step forward for animal rights activists in Latin America and the world.
On November, Peru enacted a law that protects both wild and domestic animals from any form of cruelty. The new animal cruelty law will penalize offenders from fines to prison sentences depending on the gravity.
However, the same law exempts animals involved in bullfights and cockfights which are considered part of the culture, according to Fox News Latino.
Aside from a temporary or permanent ban from keeping animals, the new law mandates that those commit acts of cruelty to animals will be penalized with a jail sentence of up to three years or a fine of 180 days at the stipulated rate.
If the animal dies due to maltreatment, the offender should expect of being jailed for not less than three and not more than five years, or a fine of 150 to 300 days multiplied by the mandated daily rate as well as a permanent ban from keeping animals, as per Fox News Latino.
"Given animals are sensitive beings, every person has a duty to ensure their protection and wellbeing," Article 6 of the new law read, as per Peru Reports. "Nobody can deny these facts and their care reflects the moral level of society."
Officially passed by Congress last November, the new animal protection law maintains principles, regulations and sanctions that are necessary to protect "domestic and wild vertebrates." It furthers that animals are "sentient beings that deserve to enjoy being well treated by humans."
It can be noted that the Congress passed the law unanimously: no votes against and no abstentions. The law was passed in probable action to the series of animal-cruelty cases went viral in 2015, according to Peru Reports. One of which accounts that "cats were fed to caimans at a Loreto restaurant as well as an Andean bear which was poorly cared for in a rural circus," as per the same report.
The new animal protection law includes sanctions for the abandonment, failure to properly feed or house, bestiality, illegal trafficking, hunting marine mammals and raising animals to fight in shows.
Meanwhile, Panam Post reported that the new law will allow universities and research centers "to use animals for scientific experiments only if there is no other way to carry them out." Harm-reduction methods and animal ethics committees, however, must be put into practice and set up, respectively.
Congressman Juan Carlos Eguren, head of the justice committee, told local media that the law also aims to promote animal adoption and the creation of shelters in Peruvian cities.
"It's not only about punishment, [the law] seeks to spur public policies ... abuse against animals creates violence in society," he told the local media, as per Panam Post. "This ultimately affects children and leads to domestic violence, violence in the streets and among gangs, etc. As a society we need to reject all forms of violence."