Angie Vega (2018)
Chile is a country located along the southwestern coast of South America. It is a long, narrow country with a wide variety of climates due to its latitude and geography. The Andes extend almost along the entire country. The northern region includes the Atacama desert, which is considered the driest desert on the planet. The Chilean Antarctica is southernmost part of the planet. It has several active volcanoes, lakes, islands, archipelagos, and forest regions.
Chile is a democratic republic, and all citizens are obligated to vote by the constitution. Its legal system is based on the civil law model, giving more importance to the statutory law rather than to legal precedent. The government is divided in legislative branch, executive branch and judicial branch.
The Chilean Civil Code treats animals as property. More specifically, animals are included in the section on “movable assets,” meaning they are property capable of moving by themselves. The owner of the animal is responsible for all the damages caused by the animal, even after it has been released or lost. This is true unless the release, loss, or damage cannot be imputable to the owner’s fault. The criminal code treats animal cruelty as a misdemeanor. However, it does not define animal cruelty or animal mistreatment, giving the judge the power to decide what actions fit under this conduct.
Ley N°20.380 is the animal protection act. This law regulates topics such as animal transportation, animal testing, experimentation and research, and animal slaughter. It encourages education on animal respect and protection, and recognizes animals as living sentient beings. Labs, zoos, circuses, and other establishments that keep animals for exhibition and entertainment are allowed to so provided they meet facilities and safety requirements.
Other topics regulated throughout Chile’s legislation include: reproductive control of companion animals; responsible ownership of companion animals; protection of animals used for the production of meat, leather, feathers and byproducts; and cattle and meat transport.