Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, famous for its Afro-Brazilian heritage and carnival culture, has passed a new law with stricter penalties for cases of animal cruelty.
Mayor ACM sanctioned Bill 9.499/2019, whose author is city councilor Ana Rita Tavares, a well-known animal advocate in Salvador. The bill prescribes penalties for various cases of abuse and ill-treatment of animals.
Depending on the gravity of each case, the punishment can be a warning, a fine between R$1,000 (US$238) and $100,000 (US$23.800) and a licence revocation when the perpetrator is a business.
“The bill took two years to get to this happy end and it is a response to a popular demand to end animal abuse. Things change when you hit the pocket of the aggressor. For that reason, the bill introduces heavier fines. It is a broad and necessary piece of legislation. Now, we are waiting for its publication within 30 days,” she told ANDA.
Animal cruelty cases
The bill covers a wide range of cruelty crimes against wild, native, exotic, domestic and domesticated animals. These include abandonment, keeping animals in dirty places where it is difficult to breathe and rest. It also includes keeping animals with other animals that terrorize or harm them.
The penalties also apply to acts that cause physical and psychological harm to animals, promoting fights between animals of the same and different species, and the exploitation of tired, sick and debilitated animals for work and public displays.
The bill covers beating and torturing animals, including during training, transporting animals in inadequate conditions, exposing them to physical risk, stress and death. Other situations include causing death by any methods except for recommended euthanasia that is administered ethically and painlessly, according to the guidelines set out by the veterinary council.
People who poison animals can also be prosecuted under the new legislation. Also covered are exposing an animal to a situation of embarrassment and humiliation, subjecting them to excessive cold and heat, rain or sunshine or any other circumstances that can cause fear and damage to health.
Reporting cases covered by the new bill can be done in person, by mail or via the Internet to the competent municipal department. It can be done anonymously.