Full Title Name:  Sao Paulo State Law n. 12.916, concerning stray dogs and cats

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Lane Clayton Place of Publication:  Michigan State University College of Law Publish Year:  2008 Primary Citation:  Animal Web Center

This document is an introduction in English to the 2008 stray dog ordinance for the Brazilian City of Sao Paulo.

            Sao Paulo state becomes the first Brazilian state to enact a law banning the killing of stray dogs and cat as a population control practice. The law n. 12.916 was enacted in April 16, 2008. The law asserts that animal control agencies shall work together with non-profits and other organizations to reach the law’s objective which is the sterilization of domestic animals as a form of population control, to establish adoption centers, and to put forward adoption programs for stray animals. In addition, the animal control agencies shall promote educational programs about responsible pet ownership.

            The Law’s text besides prohibiting the euthanasia of healthy dogs or cats, also brings interesting concepts such as the protection of the so called “community dogs” which are dogs that do not belong to anybody in particular but instead are cared by an entire community. The law states that such dogs shall be spayed or neutered and returned to the community who will remain responsible for the dog.

            The Law is certainly an evolution for the animal control standards in Brazil . The Brazilian animal control agencies in many states are literally chambers of torture and cruel killings of stray animals.   Hopefully, Sao Paulo State Law n. 12.916 will set the basic principles for ethical animal control agencies and become a starting point for the reform of animal control standards in Brazil .

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