- After years of demands of the citizens, the Cuban Government passed the awaited animal welfare law.
- The citizens consider this as an unusual win of the society over the communist country, in a place where animal sacrifice and animal fighting for entertainment prevail.
- "It is better to have a minimal framework of legal protection than nothing."- Cuban independent Journalist.
- The purposes of this decree is to raise awareness about protection of animals, and prevent cruelty.
- This marks as a huge success in the country, a nation where there exists stray animals in countless numbers and chicken carcasses on the ground, a result in the name of religious sacrifices.
- The Agriculture Ministry mentioned that the decree regulates scientific experiments, the handling of strays, veterinarian practices- among other issues, and also responds to concerns aired in a nationwide debate over the new constitution three years ago.
- In a nation where public dissent is frowned upon, the younger generations decided to take up the task of raising awareness of animal welfare through marches and protests, and also various social media campaigns. "This has set an example for all communities that want their voice to be heard," said Beatriz Batista, 23- one of the leaders of the movement.
- There was a rapid increase in the number of people that took initiatives to rescue and sterilize stray animals, and also clean the coasts and river beds which contained animal remains, a result of numerous sacrifices.
- People seemed unsatisfied with the decree that didn't prevent cock fighting, only strictly regulated it, as supporters of the same stated that cock fighting is part of the Cuban Culture. Cuban independent journalist Monica Baro said in a widely shared Facebook post: "It is better to have a minimal framework of legal protection than nothing."
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?
The Animal Welfare Bill asks all animal welfare organisations and state agencies to take care of animals mentally and physically while preventing all forms of animal abuse, which is fined up to 7000 pesos. Animal livestock keepers, any animals in the sports arena, and pets all fall under this decree. Owners or custodians of animals must immediately seek preventative and veterinary care for their pets. The Ministry of Agriculture stated recently in a news press that this decree will aim to “regulate the principles, duties, rules and purposes regarding the care, health and use of animals to guarantee their well-being.” However, this new legislation doesn't aim to ban any animal sacrifices, it just mandates that the sacrifices be performed in a “compassionate and rapid manner, avoiding pain and stress.”
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