MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan lawmakers are considering a bill that would broaden protections for domestic animals, including the creation of an offense of killing an animal “with cruelty,” punishable by up to two years in prison.
The aim is to improve animal welfare and “to punish those who make them suffer,” one of the authors of the measure, Fitzgerald Cantero, told Efe.
Other elements of the proposed legislation would ban circuses that include animals from performing in Uruguay and set a deadline of one year for the nation’s zoos to improve conditions for the animals in their care.
The bill won support in committee from both the governing Broad Front coalition and the main opposition National Party.
Uruguay was a pioneer in animal welfare during the 20th century, but has since fallen behind, Cantero said.
While there are no official statistics showing an increase in animal abuse, social networks are full of complaints about cruelty to animals, the lawmaker said.