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A Brief Explanation of Colombia’s Legal System Angie Vega Colombia Legal System Summary This document provides an overview of Colombia's legal system and civil law structure. Article
AUTO 1928 de 2022 AUTO 1928 de 2022 In Colombia, municipalities are not allowed to prohibit bullfighting. It is a power reserved for Congress. Bogota attempted to regulate the practice through ordinance 767 in 2020. Since the city was not allowed to prohibit bullfights, it regulated them by prohibiting the use of sharp objects and killing of the bulls in the ring. In addition, they required that 30% of the publicity of the event be focused on educating the public on the suffering of bulls. It imposed a 20% tax and decreased the number of annual bullfights allowed from 8 to 4. During this time, no bids were sent to use "Plaza Santamaria" (Bogota's bullfighting stadium) because owners and sponsors of this practice did not agree with such requirements. Thus, Plaza Santamaria did not hold any bullfights since 2020. In December 2022, the Constitutional Court ordered the city to refrain from taking any action conducing to the violation of decision T-296 of 2013 and ordered the opening of Plaza Santamaria “to allow bullfights to take place in the usual conditions as an expression of cultural diversity and social pluralism,” effectively ordering the city to do what’s necessary for the comeback of bullfighting to the capital. Case
CO - Animal control - Ley 2054 de 2020 Ley 2054 de 2020 This law modifies Law 1801 of 2016. It imposes the duty on all districts or municipalities to establish an animal welfare center, municipal shelters, or transitory homes to take domestic animals to the extent possible according to the financial capacities of the territorial entities. If the district or municipality does not have these centers, it must support the efforts of private animal shelters or foundations that receive domestic animals. If the animal has not been claimed by his or her owner or keeper after thirty days, the animal will be declared abandoned, and the authorities will proceed to promote his or her adoption. This law also establishes that domestic animals or pets cannot be restricted from common areas in apartment buildings. Dogs have to be leashed, and in the case of potentially dangerous dogs, they have to be muzzled, and the owner must have the corresponding license in accordance with the law. Statute
CO - Animal control - Ley 769 Ley 769 This law is Colombia's National Code of Traffic. Article 97 delegates to the territorial entities the duty to create municipal shelters ("cosos municipales" or animal deposits") adequate for the keeping of animals of minor species, major species, and wildlife. Statute
CO - Animal welfare - Ley 1801 de 2016 Ley 1801 de 2016 Ley 1801 of 2016, or “National Code of Safety and Citizen Coexistence.” Title XIII is titled “of the relationship with animals.” chapter one talks about the respect and care owed to animals, prohibiting behaviors that negatively affect animals, such as the promotion, participation, or sponsorship of betting activities involving animals; the sale of domestic animals on public roads; the wandering of animals on the streets; and the use of captive animals as shooting targets. Chapter II “Domestic animals or pets,” establishes that only species authorized by the law can be kept as pets. The ownership of wild animals as pets is prohibited. Services animals accompanying their owners are always allowed in public spaces. Dog fighting is prohibited in the entire territory. Chapter IV regulates the management and ownership of potentially dangerous dogs, tort liability, the registry of potentially dangerous dogs. Statute
CO - Animal welfare - Ley 1955 Ley 1955 “The National Development Plan for 2018-2022,” in article 324, instructs the national government to draft the national policy and guidelines for the protection and welfare of farm animals, stray animals, and animals subject to cruelty, among others. It instructs the government to define strategies, programs, and to propose laws for animal protection on issues such as responsible ownership, sterilization campaigns, the creation of welfare centers, rehabilitation and integral assistance to domestic and wild animals, the progressive substitution of vehicles of animal traction, and the strengthening of investigation and prosecution procedures for crimes against animals with the purpose of eradicating all forms of animal violence, cruelty, illegal traffic, and trade. Statute
CO - Cruelty - Decreto 497 Decreto 497 Decreto 497, regulates Ley 5, 1972. Article 3 lists acts constituting bad treatment towards animals, such as keeping animals in places that are unsanitary or that prevent them from breathing, moving, or resting or which deprives them of air or light; forcing animals to work excessively or beyond their strength or to any act that results in suffering in order to obtain from the efforts that cannot reasonably be required of them except by the means of punishment; abandoning the injured, sick, exhausted or mutilated animal, or stop providing everything that can be humanely provided, including veterinary assistance; not giving an animal a quick death free of prolonged suffering, regardless of whether the animal will be used for human consumption; confining animals in such a number that it is not possible for them to move freely, or leave them without water and food for more than 12 hours; keeping animals confined with others that terrify or annoy them; and skinning or plucking live animals. Statute
CO - Dangerous dogs - DECRETO 380 DE 2022 DECRETO 380 DE 2022 This decree adds Chapter 10 to Title 8 of Decree 1070, 2015 (Regulatory Decree of the Defense Administrative Sector). It regulates the civil liability of owners or keepers of "special management dogs." Owners and keepers must acquire liability insurance and dogs in this category must be microchipped. Statute
CO - Environment - Ley 1333, 2009 Ley 1333, 2009 Ley 1333, 2009, establishes the fines, sanctions, injunctions, and corresponding procedures for violations of environmental regulations. It establishes provisional dispositions, preventive seizure procedures of flora and fauna, and guidelines on how to proceed when the environmental authority does not have the infrastructure or equipment to keep wildlife individual specimens. It creates information portals for the control of environmental regulations called the Unique Registry of Environmental Wrongdoers (RUIA), and the Wildlife Information Portal (PIFS). Statute
CO - Farming - Decreto 2113 de 2017 Decreto 2113 de 2017 “Adds a Chapter to Title 3, part 13, 2nd book of Decree 1071, 2015 (Sole Regulatory Decree of the Agricultural, Fisheries, and Rural Development Administrative Sector), titled “Animal welfare for production species in the agricultural sector,” which establishes the general provisions and requirements for livestock Animal Welfare in the agricultural sector. Among other things, it establishes that Decree 1071, 2015 is framed based on the five freedoms (freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, and disease; freedom to express normal and natural behavior) and defines production animals as “vertebrates and invertebrates used in commercial production.” Some of the general aspects include that surfaces (for walking, resting, etc.) must be adapted to the species in order to minimize the risks of injury or transmission of diseases or parasites to the animals. The environmental conditions must allow for comfortable rest and safe and comfortable movements, including changes in normal postures, as well as allow the animals to show natural behavior. Allowing animals to be in social groups encourages positive social behaviors and minimizes injury, disorder, or chronic fear. When painful procedures cannot be avoided, pain should be managed to the extent available methods allow. Animal handling should promote a positive relationship between humans and animals and not cause injury, panic, lasting fear, or avoidable stress. Finally, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) is the enforcing authority in charge of imposing sanctions for violations of animal health and welfare regulations. Statute

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