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Assemblyman in Baja California proposes classifying veterinary negligence as a crime

-Editorial

Assemblyman Román Cota Muñoz presented an initiative that adds an article to the Penal Code for the State of Baja California, to classify the crime of veterinary negligence.

He said that although a large proportion of households have pets, only a modest percentage of owners take them regularly to the vet. This is worrying, considering that their comprehensive care involves adequate nutrition, regular care, and access to quality preventive medicine.

He explained that having specific legal provisions to punish such conduct is crucial to promote the respect, protection, and well-being of animals, as well as to ensure that veterinary professionals meet the highest standards of ethics and care in the practice of their profession. 

“Although it is imperative to continue the fight against animal cruelty, we must not neglect a problem interrelated with it, that is, veterinary negligence, a phenomenon for which we lack specialized statistics,” he stressed.

Animals, like humans, can suffer because of actions done out of ignorance, carelessness, or lack of experience. Some people in the field of animal healthcare, by displaying these characteristics, can unintentionally harm animals, and this should be seen as a potentially criminal act.

From the above, the need arises to classify the conduct of veterinary negligence in our substantive criminal law, since it is important to have a provision in the Penal Code that punishes this crime for several fundamental reasons that underline the importance of protecting and preserving the well-being of the animals.

Furthermore, Román Cota mentioned in his statement of reasons that according to the research agency “IMERK”, in Baja California, six out of every ten homes in the State have a pet, with the municipalities of Rosarito and Tijuana being the ones with the highest number of living beings.

Finally, he pointed out that the country faces considerable challenges in terms of animal abuse, with alarming statistics revealing that approximately 70 percent of dogs and cats roaming the streets have been abandoned, or are the offspring of abandoned unsterilized animals.

 

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