The Government promises ‘maximum rigor’ against Cubans accused of killing dogs to sell their meat

The Government promises 'maximum rigor' against Cubans accused of killing dogs to sell their meat

HAVANA, Apr 13. The Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) of Cuba spoke out this Friday about the killing of dogs carried out by a group
of people with the aim of selling the meat and promising maximum rigor, in a Facebook post.

“During today, a despicable act against animal welfare has been published through social networks, which occurred in the municipality of San José de las Lajas, Mayabeque province; when unscrupulous people, attacking all Health and Welfare regulations Animal, violating the ethical and moral principles of our society; they have carried out dog slaughter in that territory,” the ministry stated.

This Thursday, activist Yenney Caballero announced on the same social network that animal defenders had denounced six people for killing the community’s dogs 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.

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, in accordance with 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 could face would be related to the sale of the meat and the violation of health regulations.

Many Cubans buy meat in the informal market, risking being deceived or consuming a product that does not meet health standards, due to the high sales prices in formal establishments.

In Cuba, it is not unusual that, in situations of chronic food shortages like the current one, people sell or eat (consciously) meat from animals whose consumption is unusual on the Island.

The animal that Cubans have most frequently turned to in times of crisis is the cat.

In March, the NGO Cuban Food Monitor, a program to monitor and report food insecurity on the island, reported that the sale of cat meat was becoming an underhanded business in some neighborhoods of Cuba, as well as an alternative to the harsh humanitarian crisis that the country’s inhabitants are experiencing.

In 2023, BAC reported a man who hunted domestic and wild animals, allegedly to eat them.

In 2022, Cuban animal activists residing in Ciego de Ávila warned about dog sacrifices in the territory, after the discovery of the remains of a dog that had been cooked.

“We don’t know if it was to be consumed or perhaps to be sold as part of some food; it was cooked, because when you touch the bones you know, and from the marks it is deduced that it was stripped of its skin, tied by its front legs,” he denounced in his profile  Facebook Adrianela Guerra Monteagudo, who shared photos of the discovery.