Stunningly Great News Out of Puerto Rico - Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on September 12th, 2008The post goes on to highlight the new law's more prominent features.
With very little fanfare in the rest of the U.S., Puerto Rico has enacted a landmark animal protection law, based, in large part, directly on Animal Legal Defense Fund's Model Laws!
Included are felonies for neglect, abandonment, cruelty and fighting; statutory recognition of the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans through increased penalties for those with prior animal abuse, domestic violence, child/elder abuse, or who commit the acts in front of minors; "abuse" includes emotional harm; protective orders; duty to enforce -- and much more.
Also, an interesting aside -- this bill sailed through their legislature. It was introduced in May -- in the Governor's hands in early July -- signed into law and went in effect last month. That feat, in and of itself, is very remarkable.
Until we receive the officially-translated version, below is a draft overview of many of the new provisions. Still seemingly absent from the law, are mental health, better cost management/mitigation, possession bans and forfeiture provisions. That said, a very big advance for Puerto Rico.
Here's to Puerto Rico!
And more recently, ALDF also released their 2008 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings, which now ranks Puerto Rico in the Top Tier in terms of the Animal Protection Law. The full report can be found here.
We also congratulate Interamerican University of Puerto Rico for setting up a Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) Chapter - Asociacion para la Concientizacion de los Derechos de los Animales. You can learn more about Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters here.