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Country of Origin:  Mexico

Querétaro is one of the 32 Mexican federal unities and one of the smallest. It is a historical city, located in the middle of the country. Querétaro has laws in place to protect animals, such as the Animal Protection Law and provisions within the Criminal Code.

Querétaro has one of the strongest penalties for animal cruelty, which is up to 7 years of imprisonment. However, according to the AnimaNaturalis report for 2019-2020, only 69 investigations were undertaken during this period. These low numbers reflect the law of reports and implementation of existing laws. This penalty is increased from 12 months to two years for those who commit acts of cruelty against the same animals, causing them injuries.

Criminal Code of Querétaro (1987). (Código Penal para el Estado de Querétaro)

Querétaro's Criminal Code was enacted in 1987. Articles 189 – 190 TER regulate the crime of rustling and imposes up to 16 years of imprisonment on whoever commits this crime. Title VII talks about crimes against the environment and animals. Article 246-D BIS imposes 6 to 12 months of jail time to those who, with or without intention, commit acts of mistreatment against domestic animals or wild animals, causing them injuries, together with monetary fines and 90 days of community work. However, if any of the conducts mentioned above endangers the life of the animal or the functioning of their vital organs, the punishment imposed will be increased to up to 4 years, monetary fines, and 150 days of community work; whereas, if the animal dies the punishment will of up to 7 years, monetary fines, and 1000 days to improve daily coexistence.

One noteworthy aspect of this state is that even though the penalties imposed are some of the higher ones in the country, the law does not define welfare, cruelty, or mistreatment. Moreover, this code does not proscribe actions such as neglect, abandonment, or sexual conduct towards animals.

Querétaro's Animal Protection Statute (2009). (Ley de Protección Animal del Estado de Querétaro)

This law seeks to guarantee dignified and respectful treatment for all animal species. As stated in Article 1, its primary objectives include:

  1. The regulation of the possession, procreation, development, use, transportation, and slaughter of species, populations, and animal specimens in the state.
  2. To implement compliance with the State's environmental policy regarding wildlife and biotic resources
  3. To promote a culture of protection and respect for nature.

Article 2 establishes governing principles. Under this article, animals have the right to live and be respected. Humans may not exterminate, mistreat, or exploit animals or make them carry out work beyond those that they can execute due to their species' characteristics, Every animal belonging to a wild species must live freely in its natural environment and reproduce. Every animal that humans have chosen as a companion should have their lifespan respected in accordance with its natural longevity, and any act that involves the unnecessary death of an animal shall be punished under this Law.

This law establishes policy regarding wildlife, creates a State Subsystem of Information on Domestic Wildlife (Article 19), establishes policy regarding domestic animals, the parameters for sustenance hunting, and for the slaughter of animals for consumption or commercialization. It also contains provisions regarding animal transportation, animal-drawn vehicles, draft and riding animals, animal experimentation, and animals used for public entertainment.

Article 37 encompasses behaviors classified as cruelty towards animals, which involve both acts and omissions that are unnecessary and result in harm to the animal's health, physical integrity, natural instincts, development, and growth. It includes a non-exhaustive list of 22 of such cruel actions.

Chapter X of Title II encompasses the regulations pertaining to lost and abandoned animals, which are classified as abandoned personal property subject to impoundment by municipal authorities. These authorities are required to maintain trained and well-equipped personnel who must treat animals with respect. Owners are granted a three-day window to reclaim their animals, with the possibility of a three-day extension, during which they must cover the expenses accrued by the shelter for the care and treatment of the animal.

This law establishes authority vested in both the Secretariat of Sustainable Development and municipal governments. Furthermore, it introduces a procedure for citizens to file reports, which can also be filed anonymously. It grants municipalities the ability to conduct inspections and monitor compliance, and establishes a range of safety measures, which allows the authorities to temporarily keep wildlife and temporarily or permanently shut down businesses.

The administrative sanctions to address violations are in Article 107 and are the following:

  1. Written warning from the authority
  2. Administrative fines
  3. Administrative arrest for up to thirty-six hours
  4. Confiscation and euthanization of wild specimens
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