Legislation would prohibit dog fighting in Mexico. Legislation would prohibit dog fighting in Mexico.

Dog fighting initiative set to die in Congress

Bill would impose fines, jail terms for dog fighting and related activities

Federal legislators appear to be avoiding a bill that would introduce severe punishments for activities related to dog fighting.

The legislation came from the merging of several different proposals by citizens’ and political groups and was presented, along with the signatures of 200,000 supporters, to the lower house of Congress in July. But the issue has not been brought up for discussion by the Chamber of Deputies.

The proponents, among which are the Citizens’ Movement (MC) party and the non-governmental organizations Humane Society International and Agape, are asking legislators to issue their opinion on the matter today.

If it isn’t discussed today, which is the last day of ordinary sessions in the Chamber of Deputies, it will no longer be valid.

In a letter the proponents said that “creating laws that fight animal cruelty and seek animals’ well-being has become not only a trend but a need . . . .”

Mexico must address the issue, continued the letter, “given that violence against animals is associated with other types of social violence and phenomena of social breakdown.”

The initiative seeks to have dog fighting, including all related activities such as breeding and training dogs and organizing and hosting matches, regarded as a crime. Attending dog fights would also be prohibited, while the proposal singles out for punishment people who take children to such events.

One purpose of the initiative is to recognize that dog fighting is linked to organized crime.

If approved, the new law would make dog fighting and related activities punishable with up to five years in jail, with fines ranging from 14,608 to 146,080 pesos (US $715 to 7,150).

Only 23 of Mexico’s 32 states have animal abuse legislation.

Source: Excélsior (sp), El Universal (sp)

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