In the handling of the animals, Medellin is of contrasts, because, while there is a population that is protective and supportive, there are also people who abuse and abandon pets or that they do not have a responsible tenure: feed them well, not hitting them or enclosing them and respect their presence, their rights as sentient beings, as considered under colombian law.
Yesterday, on the World Day of the Animals (enacted in 1929 by the World Organization for Animal Protection) there were many reflections on the topic.
While Santiago Ruiz, coordinator of Collective Rights and of the Environment of the Personality, revealed that this year his unit has received close to 2,500 complaints of animal abuse, the Police reported that in 2017 it will 621 rescues, petitions, complaints and claims of canines, felines, and livestock (148 fewer than in the same period of 2016).
“It is important to clarify that not all calls to report correspond to the reality,” warns Ruiz. He adds that although Medellin has advances in animal protection, such as centres of well-being and Pearl of Recovery of Wild Fauna, lack way to go, “because while there is to apply the law properly, with rigor, it is not a question only of rules, it is of citizen engagement and more culture.”
Alejandro Gaviria, a lawyer for the Environmental Inspection of the ministry of Security and Coexistence, which is handling cases of abuse against the animals, points out that although there is the Law 1774 2016, which criminalizes animal abuse, there is not yet the first person convicted in the city and lack a lot of knowledge to apply it.
“This year are 30 processes for child abuse and have been given sanctions, the law has succeeded in making the topic more visible for the citizens, but it is a commitment that must assume the society, the State and the individuals,” he added.
Environmental Police, for its part, has the Squad Anticrueldad Animal Patrol and Wildlife, this year’s 66 seizures of dogs of breeds that are potentially dangerous (23 more than in 2016) and have executed 2.498 bailouts and seizures of wildlife (against 3.413 at the same period of 2016), according to colonel Jaime Perdomo, head of Protection and Special Services of the Metropolitan Police.
The institution makes it clear that, however, in social networks, them spread many cases of abuse that do not correspond to reality or which scenario is not Medellin.
Paola Pineda, leader of the foundation Donatón by the Animals, that makes a collection in favour of the hostels of pets, points out that the Act 1774 has been almost a dead letter.
“The law should be more severe, crimes are excarcelables and do not always charge the fines, but the positive thing is that the eyes are focused on animals, and there is more willingness to report,” he says.
Points out that the last Donatón collected $40 million and 28 thousand kilos of concentrate to 5.157 animals of 100 hostels. The question is, why so hostel?… because they are abandoned between 5 and 10 dogs and cats per day in the city, reporting Paola.
“The law is a starting point and can develop best when the man understands that he is not the owner of the land, that is one more among the many beings that inhabit it,” says the exmagistrado of the Constitutional Court Jorge Iván Palacio, co-author of the judgment 666 of 2010, which restricted the bullfighting only the peoples with cultural tradition and ruled that the State cannot invest public resources in this activity.