The blood sport of dog fighting became illegal today in Mexico.
Congress approved legislation two months ago to make it illegal to raise and train dogs for participating in fighting matches for recreational purposes. Today it became official with its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation.
Infractions can be punished with up to five years in jail, and fines ranging between 15,098 and 150,980 pesos (US $830 to $8,300, approximately).
If the offender is a public official the jail time can be up to 7.5 years.
Infractions apply to related activities such as being in possession of an animal to be used for fighting, or transporting, purchasing or selling them. Organizing, staging, promoting or sponsoring dog fighting events are also included.
The director of the Mexican chapter of the non-governmental organization Humane Society International (HSI) told the newspaper La Razón he was happy that the law was finally published.
“We’re happy that all the effort culminated in a victory,” said Daniel Antón Aguilar García, adding that the new law marks the first time animal abuse has become part of the federal criminal code.
“This is a topic that is related to other activities of organized crime groups, so it becomes something positive not only for the animals, but for society at large,” he said.
Aguilar added that HSI will offer free training to federal government officials, as the organization has experience in combating dog fighting. It has experts from the United States who know how to plan raids, document the crime and collect evidence.
Aguilar recalled that a in a 2016 poll, 99% of respondents declared they were against dog fights, and 85% believed organizers should be punished.
Source: La Razón (sp)