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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Proposal would ban animal euthanasia and force owners to sterilize pets

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Stray animals are a common sight on the streets of all of Mexico, but a new initiative in Yucatán seeks to change that. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Animal rights organizations in Yucatán are seeking a ban on the practice of animal euthanasia.

If enacted, the same law would also require pet owners to spay and neuter their animals, no longer making this simply an option. 

The effort is spearheaded by the nonprofit Un Millón de Esperanzas (A Million Hopes), which will present the initiative to Yucatán’s Senate and Chamber of Representatives on Oct. 8.

“This is all about finding an ethical approach to the control of urban fauna. Nobody likes to put down animals, but the truth is that unless there is a law on the books, people simply find excuses not to do the right thing and get their pets spayed or neutered,” said initiative spokesman Raúl Ortega.

Stray dogs are so ubiquitous that they can even be seen in Chichén Itzá, Yucatán’s most famous tourist attraction. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Earlier: Mexico says its final farewell to Frida the heroic dog

According to Yucatán’s health authorities, there are upwards of 50,000 stray animals on the streets of Mérida alone.

Official estimates calculate that five dogs are run over by cars every day in the city, though even authorities admit the real number may be considerably higher. 

At a national level, activists have expressed concern that the number of strays in the country has increased to nearly 20 million, according to INEGI.

If an initiative such as that proposed by Un Millón de Esperanzas were to take effect, it would require a massive mobilization of veterinary clinics.

Details about the program, including if the sterilization service would be offered for free or at a discount, have yet to be revealed. 

Although most strays are not aggressive, given their large numbers, attacks are relatively common. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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