Confusion dominates the making of the next animal welfare federal law in Mexico. Imitating laws from other countries with different conditions, appealing to mawkishness and having only the support of animal rights groups makes no sense.
Many actors are against it, including bullfighting, jaripeo (the Mexican cowboy festival), and cock-fighting fans and producers — traditions deeply rooted in Mexico. Zoos, market stallkeepers and even the hunters' association are also against it. What a mixture! But where is the animal ag industry?
Last week there were several demonstrations all over the country of veterinarians, biologists, animal scientists and environmental engineers claiming to be heard by authorities, saying that many jobs will be lost. I agree. Veterinarians are not against animal welfare, they are actually part of it. Veterinarians are the most interested in providing welfare to the animals.
Another important claim of demonstrators is the fact that scientifically-based arguments are not being used for the law. "Animal welfare is a science developed by vets, consisting of a set of evaluations to provide adequate conditions for the animals," says Claudia Levi, a well-known wild animal veterinarian. Animal welfare is not a gut feeling, it’s a science. "It is important to take science into account, even if now it is not that trendy," she adds. Good point.
All of the news published in media have pictures of cute kittens and dogs and so on. Even Senator Monreal (the animal welfare bill promoter) smiles with a beautiful xoloescuintle dog (a native Mexican hairless dog)! What on earth has the animal industry to do with all this? Where is the animal industry?
The National Federation of Veterinarians (FedMVZ) — made of 33 state associations and 26 national associations — does not agree with this turmoil and goes more for a "healthy dialogue" with authorities to improve the law and differentiate between pets, production animals and entertainment animals.
Why do I keep asking where is the animal ag industry? Because the law will affect all animals, including production animals. It is very important to protect feeding animal proteins as a human right. Isn't it?
What do you think?