Target: Luis Guillermo Solís, President of Costa Rica
Goal: Impose stricter punishments for animal cruelty in Costa Rica.
Killing or harming an animal is considered a minor offense in Costa Rica; the only penalty is a lenient fine that does little to discourage offenders from repeating the act of abuse or mistreatment. A proposed animal welfare bill that would impose stricter laws has been continuously delayed by opposing lawmakers who recently filed over 70 motions against it, effectively keeping the bill from being discussed and voted on at the Legislative Assembly. The protection of animal rights needs to be a priority in Costa Rica, and lawmakers must stop delaying this essential bill that would reform the country’s insufficient animal welfare laws.
Under the proposed bill, animal cruelty or abuse would be punishable with prison sentences ranging from six months to two years and fines of up to $1,300, while killing an animal could mean up to three years of prison time and a fine of $1,600. The bill would also impose penalties on anyone who performs sexual acts on an animal, promotes animal fights, or practices vivisections on them for purposes not related to scientific research.
Animal rights groups and volunteers have started organizing the collection of signatures to approve a referendum as a final resort to ensure that the bill is voted on. This is not an ideal situation – a national referendum could cost taxpayers up to $4.6 million, and this money could be saved if lawmakers stop delaying the bill. President Luis Guillermo Solís promised to make the animal welfare bill a priority during his campaign, yet now the bill is so low on the legislative agenda that it is unlikely to be discussed any time in the near future. Sign the petition below to urge President Solís to keep his promise and take action to prevent animal cruelty and abuse in Costa Rica.
Dear President Solís,
Costa Rica’s animal welfare laws are much too lenient and need to be reformed in order to prevent animal abuse. A proposed animal welfare bill would enforce stricter penalties, but this bill has been continuously delayed by opposing lawmakers who filed over 70 motions against it. During your presidential campaign, you promised to make this bill a priority. Now, it is so low on the legislative agenda that it will not be discussed or voted on at the Legislative Assembly anytime in the near future.
The bill would punish animal cruelty or abuse with prison sentences ranging from six months to two years and fines of up to $1,300. Causing the death of an animal could mean a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $1,600. Additionally, the bill proposes penalties for any individual who performs sexual acts on an animal, promotes animal fights, or practices animal vivisections unrelated to scientific research.
A national referendum is being organized by animal rights groups and volunteers as a final measure to bring this bill about, but millions of taxpayer’s dollars could be saved if the bill is given a higher place on the legislative agenda. I am urging you to keep your promise and make this animal welfare bill a priority. Please take action to encourage stricter punishments for animal cruelty, and fight for animal rights in Costa Rica.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Animal People Forum