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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.

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Related cases

CASO 02437-2013 JANE MARGARITA CÓSAR CAMACHO Y OTROS CONTRA RESOLUCION DE FOJAS 258 DE LA QUINTA SALA CIVIL DE LA CORTE SUPERIOIR DE JUSTICIA DE LIMA:  Plaintiff, a blind woman, brought a constitutional grievance against the decision issued by the Fifth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima on January 15, 2013. This decision denied the action of protection after Defendants denied entry of Plaintiff's guide dog at their supermarkets. The Constitutional Tribunal ordered that the blind were allow to enter to the supermarkets with their guide dogs.

Related laws

Decreto 2, 2015 (Reglamento para el control reproductivo de animales de compañía): This Decreto lays out the regulations for the reproductive control of pets. Its purpose is to control the population of companion animals through the sterilization of these species.

Decreto 28, 2013: This Decreto contains the regulations for the protection of animals that are used for meat, leather, feathers, and other byproducts by imposing the use of rational methods to avoid unnecessary suffering during technical procedures and slaughter.

LEY 21.020, "Ley Cholito:" This law establishes the rights and responsibilities of those in possession of companion animals. It contains the norms for the protection of health and animal welfare through responsible ownership. It also establishes norms to protect public health, people’s safety, the environment, and protected natural areas by applying measures to control the population of pets.

Ley 19473, 1996: This law regulates the hunting, capture, breeding, conservation and sustainable use of wildlife animals, with exception of those species whose preservation is regulated by the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Decreto Supremo 240, 1993: This is a general regulation for the transportation of cattle and meat by land, rail, water, and air transportation.

Ley Nº 19.162, 1992, "Ley de la Carne:" This constitutes "The Meat Law." It establishes the compulsory system of classification of livestock and nomenclature of meat. It also regulates the operation of slaughterhouses, refrigerators, and establishments of the meat industry.

Ley 430, 1991: This is the general law of fisheries and aquaculture. It establishes the guidelines for the preservation of hydrological resources, extractive fishing activities, and research activities in terrestrial waters, sea beaches, inland waters, territorial seas, exclusive economic zones, and adjacent areas. This law also regulates transformation and processing fishing activities and storage, transportation, or commercialization of hydro-biological resources.

Criminal Code, Article 291 BIS and 291 TER (1984): Article 291 BIS establishes the penalties for cruelty or mistreatment against animals. Article 291 TER defines animal cruelty and mistreatment.

Decreto 141, 1975: This Decreto approves and adopts the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), ratified in Washington, March 3, 1973.

Decreto 531, 1967: This Decreto ratifies The Convention for the Protection of Flora, Fauna, and Natural Scenic Beauty of the Americas, signed in Washington on October 12, 1940.

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