One More Step Towards an Animal Protection Law in Cuba

Irina Echarry

HAVANA TIMES — Just a week ago, the CeDA (The Cuban Association for the Defense of Animals) group called for a collection of signatures rejecting the crime that took place in Manzanillo. Almost 2,000 signatures were collected in just six days and there are still people who are interested in signing the petition so that animal abuse becomes a punishable crime.

According to what CeDA tells us, unfortunately not all of the signature forms could be collected in time and on Wednesday May 16th, when 50 sheets with a total of 1,574 signatures were handed in to the State Council’s Citizen Advice Service along with a letter addressed to president Raul Castro, with a copy for the Minister of Interior and Vice-President Diaz-Canel.

The letter describes what happened in Manzanillo and it states: “this cruel act isn’t an isolated incident of two anti-social individuals with psychopathic personalities. No. Similar incidents have taken place in the past and they will continue to take place in our country.”

As well as asking for an investigation to be undertaken for this particular case, Raul Castro is also asked “in the name of Cuban men and women who are sensitive to animal suffering and hardship, that an animal protection law be enacted. This, for the sake of a more responsible and humane society not only when it comes to animals, but every vulnerable human being such as the elderly, children, the sick, minorities, etc.

The letter asks some questions, namely, what we are as a society and where we are heading: “What are we teaching our children and our youth? How can we prevent our children and youth from repeating or being accomplices in similar incidents if we don’t punish these barbaric acts with laws so as to make it perfectly clear that such behavior is wrong, that it shouldn’t happen again, that it won’t be tolerated?

What kind of country are we building if we don’t oppose this abuse and demand a legal framework where behavior like this won’t be allowed?”

The letter explains, in a firm tone: “We can’t continue to put off enacting a law against animal abuse because it is a complicated and tough issue. Cuba is rife with difficult issues that need to be tackled everyday. Similarly, we can’t put off drawing up and approving a law against animal abuse because we are dealing with life or death matters which are related to the country’s economic survival.

We understand that the country’s economic survival issues can’t be postponed but the country’s soul and spirit is also at stake.”

Over the next few days, copies of this letter will be sent to the National Assembly, the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General and the Ministry of Agriculture. We hope that one of these institutions will take a stand.

Irina Echarry

Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

One thought on “One More Step Towards an Animal Protection Law in Cuba

  • So nice to read this article and seeing awareness is growing among Cubans. As humans we have been ‘blessed’ with an intellect. This places responsibility to look after the welfare of all lower living beings. Not doing so means we fail to be human and are intellect with one day be removed.

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