The Colombian Environmental Secretary announced that mistreatment of horses will result in arrest and fines, local news sources reported on Friday.
According to the Ministry of Environment, the process of replacing animal-drawn vehicles resulted in neglect of the horses which no longer represented a livelihood.
Often the horses are subject to overcrowding, malnutrition and disease – a problem which has led to local municipalities, in coordination with the police and environmental authorities, to confiscate the animal and arrest the perpetrators.
After the primary request made on March 5, by House of Representatives member David Luna, the Environmental Secretary Nestor Garcia has announced that individuals found to be abusing horses will be subject to six months to a year in a jail, and a fine equal to five times the commercial value of the horse.
“We will apply the Act 84 of 1989, which states that when the holder or possessor of an animal can not provide the necessary means of subsistence, he will be obliged to put the animal into the care of the local mayor or police inspector. Failure to do so means that the owner or holder shall be liable to imprisonment and financial penalties.”
Confiscation isn’t the end of the problem
|“We will apply the Act 84 of 1989, which states that when the holder or possessor of an animal can not provide the necessary means of subsistence, he will be obliged to put the animal into the care of the local mayor or police inspector. Failure to do so means that the owner or holder shall be liable to imprisonment and financial penalties.”|
Once the animals have been taken away the Environmental Department will provide veterinary assistance and food to the affected animals in order to ensure that their welfare is taken care of.
“Since March 1, 2014 , the Ministry of Environment has been responsible for caring for the animals that are working or used by the traffic police, not those in private farms or wineries,” Garcia said,
“However, with the support of local municipalities and the Ecological and Environmental Police, the Ministry will now seize horses locked up in lots and warehouses which are in poor condition due to the negligence of the owners.”
According to Luna, after an investigation by the Ombudsman with the Association of Animals and the Environment (ADA) a Colombian mafia group was found to be dealing solely in the illegal and improper trade of horses for $7 – $10 each. High levels of animal mistreatment were found with low sanitation levels and reports of beatings and overcrowding in transit.
- Maltratadores de caballos irán a la cárcel (El Espectador)
- Multa de 15 millones y carcel a los maltradores de animales (Santa Fe Radio)
- En Bogotá ya van dos caballos muertos y 26 heridos en este año (El Tiempo)
- No a los caballos cocheros desnutridos y maltratados (El Universal)