LIMA – The Peruvian government has enacted a law protecting the lives and health of both domestic and wild animals in captivity, with the exception of those used in spectacles considered a part of the culture like bullfights and cockfights, the official gazette recorded.
The new Animal Protection and Well-being Law, passed by Congress last November, establishes the principles, regulations and sanctions needed to protect “domestic and wild vertebrates” by acknowledging them to be “sentient beings that deserve to enjoy being well treated by humans.”
The law sanctions those who commit acts of cruelty to animals with a jail sentence of up to three years, a fine of 180 days at the stipulated rate, as well as a temporary or permanent ban on keeping animals.
Should an animal dies of mistreatment, the prison sentence for the guilty party is no less than three years nor more than five, a fine of 150-300 days at the stipulated daily rate, with a permanent ban on keeping animals.
The law prohibits abandoning animals on public streets, their use in shows where they are forced to perform activities incompatible with their nature, and the keeping, buying and selling animals for human consumption that are not defined as farm animals.
Unnecessary surgery on pets is also forbidden, as is keeping wild animals in the home and their indiscriminate commercial exploitation.
The law also considers the treatment of farm animals, aquatic vertebrates and of certain species used at scientific centers for experiments, teaching and research.
The new statute also establishes the creation of a National Ethics Committee for Animal Well-being, made up of six representatives in charge of judging the criteria employed by other committees based on internationally accepted standards.
Those who break the law are administratively sanctioned with a fine, the partial or total closure of the center where the activity is carried out, and/or the confiscation of the instruments used in the infraction.
It also authorizes anyone to report violations of the law to local governments, the Attorney General’s Office or the Peruvian National Police.
Involved in the execution of these policies are the Agriculture, Environment, Health, and Production Ministries, the new law says.