Mexico says ‘no mas’ to dogfighting
There’s a lot in the news about Mexico and our border with that populous nation to our south. While that discussion swirls, we continue to make steady progress on animal welfare in Mexico, even though our Humane Society International office there is still in its first year of operation.
This week, Mexico’s Congress took one more major step toward establishing a nationwide ban on dogfighting – with its House and Senate blessing a measure that mandates that the Mexican federation, federal states, and Mexico City all penalize dogfighting within a year. The next key – and final – step will be for the Senate to pass a reform to the federal criminal code so that dogfighting is effectively penalized, and we expect that to happen soon.
Right now, many of Mexico’s 31 states and Mexico City forbid dogfighting, but there had been no national policy. It was only in the last 15 years that the United States established its own strong federal policy on animal fighting. Mexico’s efforts to catch up will greatly improve the prospects for suppression of animal fighting in North America. Cracking down on dogfighting in Mexico can also stop American-based dogfighters from trekking to Mexico to avoid law enforcement here in the United States where, largely due to The HSUS’s work, dogfighting is a felony in every state, and also a federal felony. It’s yet another case – as we see with so many other activities – in which animal abusers go venue shopping to find the spots where cruelty is unregulated.
This is a groundbreaking victory for animals and animal advocates in Mexico, and especially for Humane Society International/Mexico, which launched an anti-dogfighting campaign in the country in July last year, not long after we opened our office in Mexico City. Creating a national policy against dogfighting was not on anyone’s radar before our determined team, led by HSI/Mexico Executive Director Anton Aguilar, began to involve legislators, the media, celebrities, and the general public. When the campaign was launched, it was covered in more than 160 news reports. A petition for legislators circulated by HSI to ban and penalize dogfighting collected more than 200,000 signatures.
I wrote about our first major breakthrough in December, when the House of Representatives passed a reform of the federal criminal code penalizing various activities related to dogfighting, including organizing fights, owning or trading a fighting dog, possessing a property used to hold fights, and attending a fight as a spectator. With Mexico’s Congress enacting the ban this week, we are that much closer to a strong national policy on these barbaric spectacles.
A poll last year found that 99 percent of Mexicans condemn dogfights, and 85 percent believe dogfighters should be penalized. Besides the inherent cruelty against the dogs trapped in this trade – dogfighters sometimes kill losing dogs and even winners can die of their wounds – police often uncover drugs, guns, and even murder in connection with dogfights. In one highly publicized case in Ciudad Juarez in 2013, dogfighters were suspected to have slaughtered an entire family of eight, including three children, because of unpaid dogfighting debts.
This is just the latest of our gains in Mexico. Among our other victories:
- Mexico City’s Constitutional Assembly voted to include article 18 B on animal welfare into the constitutional text the city will adopt in February. The vote was 81 to 0. The article recognizes animals as sentient beings whose welfare must be protected.
- Last year, HSI/Mexico and the Izamal (Yucatan) Municipality ended the Kots Kaal Pato fiesta– the cruel 100-year-old festival in which animals were hung up like piñatas and beaten to death. An agreement was signed in April to continue to collaborate on providing non-cruel alternatives to celebrate the fiesta.
- Alsea, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and Spain, announced a cage-free-egg policy after several years of talks with HSI. That is just one of many companies that have made similar pledges.
We are excited about all of these wins. And more specifically, we applaud both chambers of Congress in Mexico for passing the anti-dogfighting legislation that saves lives and fortifies the legal framework against cruelty in a vitally important nation. We also thank all of the Mexican citizens who participated in or supported our HSI/Mexico campaign to stop this cruelty.
Please live them free they are innocent!!!!
Protect these animals from those Sick Pathetic individuals out Thier.
Elizabeth, great idea but learn how to spell i.e. THERE not THIER
Stop Dog fighting now, Men can fight in a Ring
zastavte toto krute a hnusne zachazeni ze psi je to nehodne jich i lidi sdilim
This is great (but you might want to fix the typo – it should be más, mas means but, más means more)
Bravo on dogfighting. Next tackle cockfighting!
Adore les animaux
Great work HSI!!
Now this is what I call a *real* victory for animals. I’m not so naive to think that this law will stop the cruel, evil practice, however, when *laws* are adopted to protect the victims, it provides a broad defense that will have some success.
Those who engage, in any way, in brutalizing animals will not be stopped by a law, because those human predators are defective psychopaths whose goal in life is to be a criminal, and they take great pride in being able to do what they want while managing effectively to evade the law.
The most dangerous predator on earth is a human without a conscience.
THIS IS WELL SAID. I AGREE WITH YOU ENTIRELY. CRUEL IRONY THAT THE MOST “INTELLIGENT” LIFE FORM ON THE PLANET INCLUDES THE MOST DEFECTIVE SPECIES. HOWEVER, LET US REMEMBER THE MAJORITY OF HUMANS ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE SENSITIVE AND RE-SPONSIVE ABOUT THE BEAUTY AND UNIQUENESS OF ALL ANIMALS. VIVA HSUS!
EL CRIMEN SE TIENE QUE TERMINAR POR MEDIO DE LEYES INCUESTIONABLES Y DAR PROTECCIÓN PERMANENTE A TODO SER VIVO; LAS LEYES EN CONTRA DE LA CRUELDAD, EL ASESINATO Y EL MALTRATO SON INAMOVIBLES EN TODO EL MUNDO. ES IGUAL PARA SERES HUMANOS QUE ANIMALES!!!! SIMPLEMENTE ALTO AL CRIMEN EN TODO EL PLANETA POR MEDIO DE LAS LEYES ENCARGADAS DE PROTEGER LA SEGURIDAD DE TODOS!!!!!!!!
I hope and pray that Mexico does ban dog fighting and any other kind of animal fighting but first, we here in the US have to show them we are seriously trying to stop it here in our own country. It is still a thriving, despicable practice and we have to get more serious about punishing those who make these fights possible and those who attend the fights, as they are just as guilty as the owners of the dogs.
Please set them free, they are innocent… stop anykind of animal fighting!
Stop all this with the dog fights.
Who’s going to enforce this new law? Do they have enough officers to sesrch and enforce the law?
I moved to Ajijic a year ago. I have had to lay in bed and endure the dog fight rings that around this particular area and street where I live. I might as well have a front row seat. It starts usually around midnight where numerous large dogs are barking and going crazy for a good hour. Then you hear very small dogs screaming in terror but the worst is when they let the fight dogs go and tear apart the, “bait”, dogs as they are referred to here. Something really needs to be done. I have lived in this neighborhood for a few months, have a small dog myself who is absolutely terrified of this house and neighborhood even when it is calm outdoors, and I now find myself unable to bear it and will move. Banning it did not seem to stop it at all. They move them around from week to week. Always know when it is gearing up as it is the same cars, trucks, and men I see suddenly in my neighborhood.