Costa Rican legislators signed a bill after a two year battle that will ban dog fighting in the country. If it goes into law, dog fighting will be labeled a criminal offense and the inhumane act will be accompanied by strict penalties. A three year prison sentence could be your fate if you engage in such animal cruelty, and along with time in jail, anyone guilty of the offense will have to register and be put on an offenders’ list, similar to that of sex offenders.
Dog fighting is already illegal in Costa Rica, but the legislation is very poor. The Humane Society International-Latin America fought to have this bill passed, which would enforce a stricter policy against animal cruelty. Previously, if someone was caught dog fighting, their animals would be confiscated but no penalties enforced, leaving the individual to reoffend without consequences.
There is hope the bill will be signed into law by Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla or by her successor, Luís Guillermo Solís. Cynthia Dent, the regional director for HSI-Latin America, told The Tico Times. “We are very pleased that this slipped right under the wire. We are definitely expecting improvements [with Solís]. We are very excited and hope we can continue working as closely as we have with the government.”
Let’s hope this bill is signed into law so Costa Rica’s no-nonsense attitude toward dog fighting can become an example for countries everywhere.
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