Ley 84 is the National Statute of Animal Protection in Colombia. Before the adoption of Ley in 1774, 2016, animal cruelty was punished under the parameters laid out in this statute. Ley 84 establishes that “all the animals in the national territory enjoy special protection against suffering and pain caused directly or indirectly by humans.” The main purpose of this law is to punish and eliminate animal cruelty. However, abusive behavior was considered a minor offense rather than a crime, and the fines established were minimum.
Ley 84 establishes the general duties of humans towards animals. Among these duties is 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 establishes the exceptions to the duty to protect animals, meaning that the practices listed in this section are exempted from the duty to protect animals and refrain from causing them unnecessary pain and suffering even though they might be inherently cruel. These exceptions correspond to the different variations and forms of bullfighting rejoneo, coleo, 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 regarding this law.
Article 17 defines the circumstances and the requirements for the euthanasia of animals. It states that “the sacrifice of an animal for non-consumption shall only be done through procedures that are not prohibited in the prior chapter of this law, and that do not entail cruelty, suffering or prolongation of the agony,” and only in the circumstances set forth in this article.”
Regarding the use of live animals in experimentation and research, Chapter VI of Ley 84 establishes that they can only be done with prior authorization of the Ministry of Public Health and only when such experiments and research are necessary for the advancement of science. Additionally, there must not exist a different procedure or alternative to obtain the results sought with such experiments and research; that there is an impossibility to substitute the research and experiments with other methods; and that the research and experiments are necessary to control, prevent, diagnose, or for the treatment of diseases that affect humans or animals. “Animals must be put under anesthesia that is strong enough to avoid pain and suffering.” Furthermore, "it is prohibited from carrying out experiments on live animals, as a means of illustration of lectures in faculties of medicine, veterinary medicine, zootechnics, hospitals or laboratories or in any other place dedicated to learning, or for the purpose of obtaining manual dexterity.” Ley 84 also requires that an ethics committee is formed for every experiment with live animals.
Chapter VII regulates the transportation of live animals. Art 27 requires those who transport live animals to “use procedures that do not involve cruelty, abuse, extreme fatigue or lack of rest, water and food for them.” In the transportation of quadrupeds, this law requires the vehicles to be in a manner that protects them from weather conditions. For the transportation of smaller animals, Article 28 provides that they must be transported “in boxes or crates that have sufficient ventilation and appropriate amplitude. In addition, when animals are being transported, this law provides that in case the animals are stopped or detained “in their way or upon arrival to their destiny, due to circumstantial, incidental or administrative complications, such as strikes, lack of means, confiscation by authorities, delays in transit or delivery, the city in which jurisdiction the animals are located must provide shelter with enough space and ventilation, water and food, at the expense of the owner, recipient or transporter, as the case may be, until the overcoming of the inconveniences."