Target: Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile
Goal: Repeal the law enabling legal hunting of wild dogs in Chile
The Chilean government recently signed an amendment to their Hunting Law, which allows the legal hunting of stray dogs in rural areas. This decree states that any dog further than 400 meters from any town or house may be captured or killed. This law is not only cruel for stray dogs, who are already victims of abandonment by owners who didn’t care for them, but is also impractical, as many of Chile’s owned dogs are not housebound and roam a wide area, surely leading to numerous cases of mistaken killing.
This law comes in response to Chile’s growing feral animal problem, with an estimated 3 million homeless animals nationwide. However, experts agree that a widespread sterilization program is needed for stray dogs, and that hunting is not the answer. A study found that many dogs in rural areas belong to farmers who do not feed them well enough. The decree also fails to address the problem of stray dogs in urban areas – 200,000 of which reside in the capital, Santiago, alone.
Sign this petition and put pressure on the Chilean government to repeal this unjust and impractical law, and consider alternative options, such as sterilization, for the stray animal population.
Dear President Piñera,
The recent passing of a decree which makes the hunting of wild dogs legal is both unkind and impractical. Wild dogs became so due to owners who cast them away, not wanting to care for them anymore. They do not deserve even more cruelty.
Moreover, this law assumes that all dogs more than 400 meters from a rural household or town are wild. This is simply not true, as many dogs that belong to people are allowed to wander freely around the area. The error in this reasoning will lead to many disputes between the people who kill tamed animals and the animals’ owners, potentially destabilizing relationships at best and leading to violence at worst.
Another factor in this law is that this decree does not address the problem of urban animals, which are rampant in cities – 200,000 in Santiago alone. Nor does it take any consideration into sterilization of stray animals, which is agreed by many experts to be the best solution to your country’s problem.
Reconsider the law you have just passed, and consider more humane, effective alternatives that have been offered to you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Adam Cohn via Flickr