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Title Citation Summary Type
Sentencia de Tutela Juzgado 3 de Bucaramanga de 25 de julio de 2017 Sentencia de Tutela Juzgado 3 de Bucaramanga This is the first time an animal, more specifically a dog, filed a lawsuit seeking that the government grant protection for the dog’s rights to life and health. The judge denied the action of "tutela" filed by the dog ("Negro") based on the definition of person given by the civil code. As a result, the judge concluded that "Negro" was not a person and therefore was not entitled to have rights. However, there is a possibility that the Constitutional Court on appeal will grant the plaintiff the rights he is seeking based on Decision T-622 de 2016, where the court declared that a river was subject to rights that guarantee its protection, conservation, maintenance, and restoration, and that the government was the main guarantor of these rights. Case
Colombia, Decreto 1500, 2007 Decreto 1500 de 2007 This decreto establishes the technical rules that frame the system of inspections, supervision and controls over meat processed for human consumption. These health requirements must be met at every step of the chain, from primary production to marketplaces. Article 31, lays out the requirements for the antemortem and postmortem inspection of animals in slaughterhouses. Numeral 3 of this article establishes that slaughter methods must be humane. According to this article, animals must be slaughtered through non-cruel methods. Animals have to be appropriately stunned before being slaughtered. Slaughter must be done following correct techniques, avoiding unnecessary risks for the operator and suffering of the animal. The methods utilized must be authorized by the National Institute for Drug and Food Supervision (INVIMA). This article establishes ritual religions as the only exception to humane slaughter. This process must be supervised and approved by the Invima. Statute
Colombia, DECRETO 1608, 1978 DECRETO 1608 de 1978 Decreto 1608 regulates the Code of Natural Renewable Resources and environmental protection regarding terrestrial wildlife, as well as all the activities and products relating to this resource. Even though Decreto 1608, lays out general dispositions for the conservation and protection of terrestrial wildlife, Article 5 establishes that Decreto 1608 applies to “the management of cetaceans, sirenians, pinnipeds, marine and semi-aquatic birds, sea turtles and fresh or brackish water, anuran batrachians and all other species that do not complete their life cycle in the aquatic environment, but that depend on it for their subsistence.” In order to guarantee the efficient use of wildlife and its products, Decreto 1608, requires specific licenses for the exploitation of wildlife and its products. It establishes the parameters and limitations for the activity of hunting and the granting of licenses for this purpose. Statute
Sentencia C-1192, 2005 C-1192/05 Decision C-1192/05 decides on a claim of unconstitutionality against Articles 1, 2, 22 and 80 of the Taurine Regulatory Statute ley 916 of 2004. In this occasion, the court upheld the constitutionality of this law confirming bullfighting as an artistic expression allowed by the Constitution: “A manifestation of Colombia’s diversity, as intangible good that symbolizes one of the many historical-cultural traditions of the Nation.” The Court stated that since bullfighting is a cultural manifestation of the nation, children do not need to be protected from this practice. The Court believes “children should be provided the opportunity to attend these events so that they can learn and judge for themselves if bullfighting is an art form, or an outdated violent practice. For that reason, the statute does not violate the fundamental rights of children. The court also held that bullfighting is not part of the interpretation of Article 12 that corresponds to the prohibition of torture. The text of the norm speaks about violence and cruel treatment as an “anthropological vision of the human being” the court asserts. With this decision, the Constitutional Court affirms that animals, in this case bulls, are not entitled to any rights. The court considered tradition and culture of a higher value than animal protection. Case
Colombia, LEY 84, 1989, Statue of Animal Protection LEY 84, 1989 Ley 84 is the National Statute of Animal Protection in Colombia. Ley 84 establishes the general duties of humans towards animals. Among these duties includes the duty to provide animals with enough food, water and medicine to guarantee their well-being; the duty to provide animals with appropriate space so they can move adequately; and the duty to provide appropriate shelter. Article 7 contains the exceptions to the duty to protect animals, meaning that the practices listed in this section are legal under the current legal system even though they might be inherently cruel. This exceptions correspond to the different variations and forms of bullfighting rejoneo, coleo, las corridas de toros, novilladas, corralejas, becerradas y tientas, and cockfighting. Ley 84 also regulates the slaughter of animals for non-consumption, animals in experiments and research, animal transportation, as well as hunting and fishing, resources, penalties, legal competency, and procedures to follow in regards to this law. Statute
Sentencia C-666, 2010 Sentencia C-666/10 The Constitutional Court decided on an unconstitutionality claim against Article 7 of the Statute of Animal Protection Ley 84 of 1989 that corresponds to the exceptions to the duty of animal protection. This decision established the conditions that must be met for the exceptions of Article 7 to apply. Put in different words, through Decision C-666, the court limits the scope of the legality of bullfighting, establishing certain requirements. In its holding, the Court stated that the seven practices in Article 7 would not violate the Constitution, so long as they were done within the following parameters: (1) As long as it is understood that these animals should, in all cases, obtain special protection against suffering and pain during the execution of these activities. This exception allows the continuation of cultural expressions and entertainment with animals, so long as exceptionally cruel acts against these animals are eliminated, or lessened in the future in a process of adaptation between cultural expressions and duties of protection to animals; (2) These practices can only take place in municipalities and districts in which the practices are themselves a manifestation of a regular, periodic and uninterrupted tradition, and therefore their execution responds to a certain regularity; (3) These practices can only take place during occasions in which they have commonly taken place and in the municipalities and districts where they are authorized; (4) These are the only practices that are authorized to be part of the exception in Article 7 to the constitutional duty to protect animals; and (5) Municipal authorities cannot economically support the construction of installations for the exclusive execution of the activities listed in Article 7 with public funds. Case
Colombia, Ley 1638, 2013 Ley 1638 de 2013 Ley 1638, prohibits the use of wild animals, native or exotic as part of shows in circuses in the entire country. To accomplish this goal, Ley 1638 gave circuses a two-year deadline to make the transition and re-purpose their shows without the use of wild animals. After the two year-period, national and local authorities would not be able to issue any licenses allowing the use of wild animals for this kind of shows. This law does not include the use of domestic animals. Statute
Sentencia C-439, 2011 Sentencia C-439, 2011 This is an unconstitutionality claim against Article 87 of Ley 769, 2002 (Trafic Code), relating the transportation of animals on vehicles of public transportation. Article 87 of Ley 769, established that only guide dogs could travel in this type of transportation when accompanying a blind person. The Plaintiff argued that this Article, which prohibited the transportation of animals on vehicles like buses and taxis, violated the right to equality, rights to personal and family privacy, right to free development of personality, freedom of locomotion, and private property. The court concluded that there was a violation to the right to free development of personality, freedom to locomotion, and to private property of the owners of domestic animals. The court added domestic animals as an exception to article 87, of Ley 769, meaning that this prohibition still remains for specimens of the wild fauna. Domestic animals now can travel on vehicles of public transportation, so long they are transported in conditions of health, safety, comfort and tranquility according to the applicable rules. The court also considered that a pertinent regulation was necessary to establish the requirements to transport animals on public vehicles. Case
Colombia, LEY 1801 DE 2016, National Code of Police and Coexistence LEY 1801 DE 2016 This is the National Code of Police and coexistence. Under Title XIII entitled, “Of the Relationship with Animals," this law regulates concerns to the relationship of humans and domestic animals, the responsibilities that owners have towards their pets, and the responsibilities pet owners have towards society. It regulates topics such as domestic animals in public places and public transportation; the creation of animal welfare centers in districts and municipalities to provide attention to abandoned animals; behaviors that pet owners must avoid to not disrupt the healthy and peaceful coexistence of the members of society; and the general provisions regarding the treatment of potentially dangerous dogs. Statute
Council of the State, Sentencia 22.592 of May 23, 2012 Sentencia 22.592 of May 23, 2012 Appeal, brought by the Plaintiff, who sought compensation for negligence on the part of the municipality of Anserma for the wrongful death of her husband, who died in the corrals of the slaughterhouse of Anserma when a bull charged him, causing him to fall and hit his head. The Plaintiff alleged that the slaughterhouse facilities were in poor condition, which was the cause of her husband’s death. If the facilities have been in good condition, he would not have had the accident. The court analyzed whether the damage was a result of the municipality's negligence as it did not maintained the facilities in a safe condition, or, if alternatively, it was an unfortunate accident not imputable to the Defendant. The court concluded that the Plaintiff did not present enough evidence to prove that the conditions of the facilities were the cause of the death of her husband. The court also found that the municipality was not in charge of the cattle in the slaughterhouse. Therefore, the damages were not imputable to the municipality. Furthermore, the court found the deceased was not an employee of the municipality, he was an independent employee that was hired by the slaughterhouse workers to assist them during the slaughter of cattle. The Court affirms the decision of the lower court and declares an exception of unconstitutionality of the expression “and if he alleges that he was not able to avoid the damage, he will not be heard.” of the Article 2354 of the Civil Code In its reasoning, the court determined that the accident was a result of contributory negligence and assumption of the risk on the part of the deceased, and not a result of the behavior of the animal. The court addressed Article 2354 of the Civil Code, that established that the caretaker of a fierce animal that does not report any benefit for the owner will be responsible for the damages the animal may cause, but if he alleges that if the damages were unavoidable, he will not be heard. The court declared unconstitutional the line “ and if he alleges that he was not able to avoid the damage, he will not be heard.” The court stated that it was inappropriate to address this scenario that involves responsibility derived from the behavior of animals under the parameters in the Civil Code that treated animals as goods. As today, it was of common acceptance that animals are sentient beings. Animals just as disabled people and other beings had dignity in themselves. They have a vital purpose, so much that they can enter a direct and permanent relationship with humans. The court continues to say that without this idea, the notion of legal capacity and the recognition of fundamental rights for legal persons could not exist. Animals should not be compared to objects or things, as they have dignity. The court recognized that animals and other living beings have their own value, and that even if it is acceptable that they are used for the human’s own benefit, it does not prevent us from recognizing that they are living beings, endowed with own value, and therefore subject to some rights. Case

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