Costa Rica Tries To Punish Animal Abuse without Investing Resources in Investigations

The Animal Welfare Law came into force in June 2017 after a strong popular outcry. However, the institutions in charge of investigating cases of this nature have been waiting for more than three years for an additional budget to carry out their task.

The director of the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), Walter Espinoza, confirmed the difficulties with which they are working on this matter. Espinoza said that for now, the institution receives help from universities and non-governmental organizations to investigate the deaths or mistreatment of animals reported by citizens.

Data from the OIJ indicate that between January and July of this year, 123 complaints of animal abuse were received. Of these, 60 are related to the death of the animal, 32 with apparent mistreatment, 26 for alleged cruelty, and 5 for fights between animals.

For his part, Juan Carlos Peralta, president of the Animal Welfare and Safeguard Association (ABAA), assured that many more cases of this type are presented in the country, although they do not reach judicial authorities.

The last case that shook the country and that the authorities are investigating is related to the death of a cat that, allegedly, was thrown by its owner from an eighth-floor in an apartment tower in Curridabat.

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