LA PAZ – The Bolivian government prohibited the mistreatment and killing of animals during military exercises, local media reported Tuesday.
Defense Minister Walker San Miguel said that the resolution prohibits “any act of violence, exploitation and mistreatment that causes the death of animals” during military exercises, according to the daily La Prensa.
The resolution includes sanctions for those who violate the regulation, and they can be tried by military or civilian courts, depending on the type of crime they commit, but in any case “it would affect a soldier in his career,” said San Miguel.
The decision comes after animal protection associations denounced in the media the mistreatment of animals that had been occurring during the course of certain military exercises in Bolivia.
Several television channels broadcast in recent days videotapes of military exercises where dogs were killed and torn to pieces during the soldiers’ training activities.
The national president of Animales SOS, Susana del Carpio, in remarks to the ATB television network, applauded the decision, which she called a “victory for all animals,” adding that “much still remains to be done” and noting that President Evo Morales still has not placed a law on the books to protect animals.
“People think that animals don’t feel pain, or have feelings of anguish, but studies show that we humans share all the feelings that we have with all animals,” Del Carpio said. EFE