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Country of Origin:  Argentina Court Name:  Juzgado Convencional No. 2 de la Provincia de San Luis Primary Citation:  QUATTROCCHIO WANDA S/ MALTRATO ANIMAL (Expte. Nº PEX 292565/21) Date of Decision:  Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Judge Name:  Dra. Maria Antonela Panero Magnano Docket Num:  Expte. Nº PEX 292565/21
Summary: This is an animal cruelty case in which Wanda Quattrochio witnessed the defendant whipping the neighbor's dogs. Wanda recorded the events and filed a complaint about animal cruelty. The defendant was in charge of caring for the dogs while their owner was away. When the authorities arrived at the house to seize the dogs, they found six dogs in small dirty kennels, with unclean water and without food. After considering the testimony of witnesses and other evidence, the judge concluded that the defendant had violated articles 1-3 of the anti-cruelty law (Ley 14.346) and was found guilty of animal cruelty. In her analysis of the case, the judge stated that animals were not things or resources but rather living beings with the potential to be "subjects of life."
Documents:  PDF icon rgentina_2021 QUATTROCCHIO WANDA S- MALTRATO ANIMAL_Spanish .pdf (190.28 KB)


See summary in Spanish.

The Argentina's anti-cruelty law explicitly considers intentionally hurting or running over animals, torturing them or causing them unnecessary suffering or death as acts of cruelty that can render animals "victims"  (Ley 14.346, articles 1, 2, and 3). 

In this case, the judge found the defendant guilty of animal cruelty and ordered the owner of the dogs to take adequate measures to improve the living space of the canines within seven days.

In her holding, the judge stated that she believed that "animals should not be considered as things or 'resources' but living beings with the potential to be subjects of a life . . ." Furthermore, she held that the approach to legislating about animals had evolved from considering them "things," to regulating animal protection to prevent their extinction or to avoid diseases or dangers to human beings, to finally arrive at a new approach that takes into consideration the interests of animals "per se" and the need to avoid their suffering.

The judge also considered that "feeling pain and suffering was the common ground between humans and animals, and that one of the most used arguments for attempting to justify the moral obligation of human beings towards animals was precisely that of pain and suffering."

Before announcing her guilty sentence, the judge continued by saying that "if we talk about rights, we cannot diminish or restrict them. The interpretation must always be the most favorable to the recognition of the right, the respect for the guarantee of the right to life, health, freedom and dignity, regardless of species. Always advancing with protection and not regressing . . . Surely a new and better time is coming for animals. A time that is not governed by acts of kindness, charity, or pity, but by a great and sincere act of Justice . . ."

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