Cuban animal activists make a pilgrimage in Havana for Dog Day

Cuban animal activists carry out a pilgrimage in Havana for Dog Day

HAVANA, Apr 14 Cuban animal activists carried out a pilgrimage this Sunday for Dog Day in Havana, three days after the complaint against six peoplein San José de las Lajas for killing dogs to sell their meat as if it were mutton.

According to a video posted on the Facebook page “Cuba against animal abuse” by user Valia Rodríguez, the participants gathered in front of the grave of the American Jeannette Ryder, founder of the Society for the Protection of Children, Animals and Plants, also known as as the Bando de Piedad, in 1906.

Ryder died in Cuba in 1931 and was buried in the Colón Cemetery. Her grave is known as the “Tomb of Loyalty” because after her death, her dog Rinti lay at the foot of the grave and refused to eat and drink until she died. The animal was buried next to its owner and is one of the two animals officially buried in the Colón cemetery.

This Thursday, activist Yenney Caballero announced on Facebook that animal defenders had denounced six people for killing dogs in San José de las Lajas and selling their meat as if it were mutton.

Until that moment, three men had been arrested and the remaining defendants were still on the street, according to the activist’s publication.

On Friday, the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) of Cuba expressed repudiation of the incident and promised the maximum rigor in sanctions against the alleged culprits.

MINAGRI said it “strongly” repudiates the incident and stated that it was carrying out “the corresponding investigations” through the National Center for Animal Health (CENASA).

Likewise, he assured that “the administrative, disciplinary and contraventional sanctions that correspond to this type of incident will be applied with the utmost rigor, by the provisions of the Animal Welfare Policy and current legal regulations.”

However, the Animal Welfare Decree Law only provides for fines of between 1,500 and up to 4,000 pesos for those who mistreat, start fights, or cause the death of any animal.

Cuban animal activists have criticized this rule, approved in February 2021, because it does not guarantee real protection of animals.

On the other hand, they have pointed out that the authorities only apply the decree law in high-profile cases.

“It is a tool that is put into practice when there are high-profile cases, which cause the reporting machinery to be put into motion, and the authorities are forced to act,” said activist Javier Larrea, founder of Animal Welfare Cuba (BAC). ) in 2022.

The most severe sanctions that the alleged perpetrators of the dog slaughter in San José de las Lajas could face would be related to the sale of meat and the violation of health regulations.