What Does It Mean That Animals Are Subject to Rights

What Does It Mean That Animals Are Subject to Rights?

Representatives of Cambio Radical presented on Wednesday a project before the Constitutional Court, in order that animals are considered subjects of rights. 

“The project aims to amend two articles of the Constitution. One of them currently establishes that the animals must have special protection by the state and the authorities, but it is not specified how, “explains Juan Carlos Losada, representative to the Chamber of the Liberal party in Bogota. This means that the rights of the animals remain open to interpretation by the Court.

What Does It Mean That Animals Are Subject to Rights

For years, different institutions have worked on the protection of abandoned or abused animals. In fact, at present, the law criminalizes these acts and whoever commits a crime against an animal can go to jail. However, this type of actions is not contemplated within the Constitution. 

If the animals declare themselves subjects of rights in the Magna Carta, as Radical Change claims, “making these rights effective would not depend on the political will of each government, but would be permanent,” says Eduardo Peña, campaign coordinator for Latin America. Animal Defenders International.

The expert explains that giving the category of rights to animals guarantees their protection before the law and justice. In the legislative act states that “the authorities have to develop policies to ensure the protection of animals.” 

“The bill is very ambitious and we applaud it from the organization. Seeks that animals are protected from cruel treatment, degrading acts, unnecessary death, unjustified procedures that can cause pain and anguish. In that sense, there is a call to citizenship and public bodies, especially the judicial, to articulate with existing laws, “says Pena.

What would happen to the bullfights?

In principle, this legislative act would include all animals. That is, not only those who live in protected areas, but also domestic ones, those who make parts of shows such as bullfights or coleo, and even those who are part of scientific research. 

This would be a challenge for the Court, explains Peña, because sentence 666 of 2010 (which discusses bullfights and other shows) did not prohibit animal shows and decreed that there are uses that should be regulated, such as animals used in scientific research, consumption and ancestral traditions. This, adds Peña, is admitted with criteria of animal welfare. 

The project would open a door to other legislation. In this aspect,  says representative Losada, The declaration of animal rights is important because until now the Court has weighed animal rights with human cultural rights. This, for Losada, means “that the cultural rights of a minority of power have been prioritized, that they still believe that the torture of animals is cultural”, referring specifically to bullfighting, corralejas, cockfighting, and coleos.

If this project is approved, the Court would have to adjust the regulations regarding “the alleged cultural shows with animals to a new constitutional reality,” continues Losada. The animals would have the quality of subjects of rights in constitutional rank and not only in legal rank, as it happens today.

“We would expect the court, faced with a new reality, to make determinations in terms of the care, protection, and welfare of the animals in the case of bullfights.

The viability of the project

There are laws and precedents that give legal recourse to citizens for the protection of animals, such as Law 1774 of 2016 that reforms the Civil Code to penalize abuse. Even, recalls Peña, last year the Supreme Court of Justice made a habeas corpus to an Andean bear, to guarantee his right to live in a welfare environment.

In this sense, the aim of Radical Change is “to rise to a constitutional level what was already established in the Civil Code, which declares that animals are sentient beings, subjects of rights,” says Losada. 

However, for the representative “it is very difficult to approve because it is a constitutional reform that requires eight debates. It was settled just this Wednesday, that is, it must have four debates before December. Unfortunately, it already begins with a difficult procedure in Congress because the national government projects are coming and this would be difficult to process. ” 


Keys to Caring for and Keeping Large Dogs

When Chiky gets up he measures almost two meters and on four legs his height reaches 85 centimeters. This 9-year-old San Bernardo dog weighs 70 kilos and is the enormous mascot of the Palacio Pareja family since she was born.

“Having a giant breed dog has been an experience that has brought many ups and downs to the family, although if you ask me, they have been higher than low,” says owner Viviana, who says that keeping a big dog is not so difficult as you can think.

Keys to Caring for and Keeping Large Dogs


With this assessment, the veterinary ethologist Carolina Alaguna agrees, who says that people usually do not adopt large dogs because they are afraid of what might happen to them. First, you think “that the apartment is very small, that you run with very high expenses … But in many cases they are quiet animals, not so active, who usually prefer to be accompanying the human being than playing,” he says.

There are several factors that must be taken into account to give these animals quality of life. According to veterinarian Daniel Bohorquez, they may suffer from some diseases that small breeds do not have.

“Some have genetic problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia; problems of gastric torsion that is not so common in the small ones, but in the giants. And they are dogs that have a lower life expectancy than the small ones: between 10 and 14 years old, according to the breed, “explains Bohórquez.

Contrary to popular belief, large animal breeds are usually peaceful and obedient. Of course, everything depends on the type of education that the owners give them. Angélica Álvarez attests to this experience: she has a San Bernardo and a bulldog and the personalities of her pets are very different:
“Bruno (San Bernardo) only barks because someone who does not like him or because a dog passes by, but it does not bark without reason. Jack (the bulldog) is more scandalous. “

There are several things to consider when it comes to maintaining and caring for a large breed dog, such as space, food, physical activity and walks.

The keys

First of all, it is necessary to take into account the space in which you have the pet. In fact, this is the first thing that Angelica, the owner of Bruno, says. But according to the ethologist Alaguna, everything depends on the personality of the owner and the needs of the furry. If your desire is to have a giant dog and live in a minimal place, you should get it out at least three times a day. But keep in mind that, even if you have a yard inside your house, you should take it out at least twice a day.

“If we are talking about a Great Dane or a Newfoundland, we can not put them in an apartment studio and much less if we are going to have them all day at home. If we live in a small space, we have to think about the option of paying them a school or daycare center where they can go every day to play and socialize “, explains the expert.

That’s exactly what Viviana has done with her pet. Chiky has lived much of his life in an apartment and, according to the owner, has never been a problem: “The usual thing is to take it twice a day, but the more, the better. As she is not an active bitch she likes to go out to smell and walk. Socialize little with other dogs. “

When dealing with large breeds it is necessary to take into account that their size is proportional to the amount of food they consume.But beyond that, like any other dog experts recommend giving them a high quality and balanced feed.

Cutting the Ears and Tail of Dogs Is Cruel and Very Painful

Cutting the Ears and Tail of Dogs Is Cruel and Very Painful

Historically, there has been a tradition that supposedly seeks to improve the appearance of pets: cut off their ears and tail. And although according to the experts it is an increasingly disused practice, it still persists in some cases. 

Dogs of breeds like boxer, Doberman, Rottweiler, pitbull, schnauzer, pincher, terrier, chihuahua and poodle have been some which, traditionally, their owners have sent them to cut the ears and tail.

Cutting the Ears and Tail of Dogs Is Cruel and Very Painful

And that is nothing but a mutilation. 

This is assured by the veterinary doctor Jorge Gallego, professor of emergencies and coordinator of internal medicine of small animals of the University of Antioquia, who reiterates that this type of surgical procedures for aesthetic purposes is considered a mutilation. And all mutilation indicates violence and abuse, says the expert. 

“Unfortunately, in Colombia, there is not yet a law that protects animals from this cruel practice,” Gallego explains and clarifies that in European countries it is prohibited. For him, the only thing that can be done in our country is to create awareness among owners and veterinarians, especially from the university faculties. Because many of these professionals end up an offering and performing these surgeries in their establishments as one more service of their business. 

And many owners go to places of dubious reputation and whereby malpractice – lack of hygiene, infected instruments – the animal could even lose its life.

Carolina Alaguna, the veterinary ethologist and teacher of the Uniagraria, explains that these operations cause a lot of pain to the animals and several later complications. 

“Dogs usually communicate through body language. Not only with humans but with other dogs. When they are alert, scared, submissive or happy, the posture of their ears and tails expresses how they are feeling, “warns the specialist explaining the role of these body parts in dogs.

This is why we see that they hide the tail between their legs when they are afraid, they form a kind of question mark if they are on guard and they move it energetically to show their happiness and happiness. In addition, the tail is composed of bones (caudal vertebrae) that have other associated tissues. Something similar happens with the ears. 

But this theme transcends the aesthetic and animal emotions. The tail is the continuation of the spine and an important element for its balance. Running, turning, jumping and moving are movements in which the animal needs its tail. And when cutting it, in addition, cartilages, nerves, blood vessels and other tissues are cut, in addition to the skin. Which means that the dog suffers unnecessary pain and loses basic functions of its anatomy.

Pain and health problems

“When your tail is cut, for example, you also cut a series of muscles that you have in this area and you can trigger a complication. In the ears, the auricle is affected, which allows the dog to move its ears and adequately capture the sounds.It can also cause frequent otitis, “says specialist Carolina Alaguna. 

“Removing a limb for aesthetics is not called amputation. Because amputating means removing a limb for health reasons; because the animal has bone cancer, for example, and in this way, it can stop its spread, “says veterinarian Jorge Gallego and clarifies that any surgery involves the risks of anesthesia. 

Also, when subjecting the pet to these cuts, it also puts her at risk in the postoperative period, where an inadequate cleaning in the area of ​​the ears can create an accumulation of blood that could trigger an external otitis. And if the cut was badly done, the ear can remain with the fallen muscle.

Cats also suffer

Other pets that have also been victims are cats, which are operated so that they are left without nails and do not tear furniture or scratch people. This practice is called onychectomy. 

“Cats not only remove their nails but their phalanges. This procedure is very cruel and it causes them great pain”, explains Alaguna. 

“By doing this, you are not allowing yourself a natural behavior and you can harm your behavior. In the case of cats, part of their behavior is their territoriality. With their glands, they expel pheromones when they need it. ” 
They, with their nails, are marking their territory and this is very important for their life cycle. That is why you should put scrapers and elements that can scratch but do not damage.

Veterinarian Daniel Bohorquez shares the same argument: this practice is unnecessary and cruel. “The animal can become infected, or cause other complications. To remove the claws in cats is to remove part of their being. The essence of a feline is its claws and teeth. It’s taking away half of their being, they need their nails to feel safe, to climb, to defend themselves, to be feline, “concludes the expert.

I Am the Guide of My Blind Dog

Archie, my best friend, went blind. But still happy. And I’m still happy with him. It is my responsibility to remain happy. And that’s what my heart sends me.

Historically, there have been guided dogs that become the eyes of those people who have lost their vision. Well: I am the guide of my dog.


My Blind Dog


The Jack Russell terrier race always caught my attention. They had already passed through my house Doberman, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, French Poddle, two Criollitos, and a Schnauzer. Doing this count, and at 44 years old, I have always lived with dogs. They have always been in my house and in my life. And yes, they have all been my best friends (or friends).

Of all of them could highlight a thousand virtues and a handful of defects, especially genetic. And here I go back to Jack Russell. Tremendous race, gigantic; not because of its size, clearly, but because of its intelligence, its strength, its perseverance, its determination, and dedication.

In 2008 came the great opportunity to have one of these dogs in the family. The chosen name: Archie. It came to my hands (and it fit in my hands) being a puppy for two months. Agile, playful, flew from the floor to the bed and arrived in seconds to the room jumping from chair to chair. The ball was his favorite prey and he reached it almost at the same speed at which we threw it.

Of course, all that energy did not fit in the apartment. I had to take him out to the park. But the park also stayed small. With my wife, we ​​were advised to know how we could channel all that voltage of Archie and we got a name: the Canine Training Center of the Red Cross, for Salitre. What good advice. There, Archie learned to do a couple of tricks, to be obedient.

I have read and seen, in social networks, how a good training strengthens the link between man and dog (in this case, between César and Archie) the relationship was strengthened. Without a doubt, we were (and are) best friends.

Archie had a couple of passions in his head, apart from his family, obviously: his toys and the TV. He loved watching Animal Planet and barked at how many things with four-legged hairs ran across the screen. But about three years ago we realized something: I no longer watched television with the same intensity and that ball, which did not escape before, now followed him straight. He passed by and lost the location. Then I found her at the point of smell, but it was obvious that I was not seeing the same thing anymore. I used to say: the ‘puppy hunter’ (hunter) because he did not miss a single one. Well, it was until three years ago.

A New Life

With my wife, we ​​took him to the ophthalmologist, a great professional named Ladino, who told us what we suspected but did not want to hear: “he is going blind”. I was 7 years old and life was ahead.

“It can not be,” I said. My pup puppy (as I say now) went blind. How will you keep doing your things? Are you going to crash against everything? What is done now? Is there a surgery option?

A thousand more questions and reflections passed through my head at that moment.

And the next thing is that I say that Dr. Ladino is a great professional: he made us understand that it was not the end of the world, nor for Archie, nor for us. They, the dogs, he explained to us, adapt faster; his life clock is not as long as ours and that is why they play every day as if it were the last and live with that intensity and unconditional devotion that overwhelms us so much.

And if they put this in doubt, notice how they receive them at home when they arrive from work. Their lives go by ours.

They are easy reflections for us. After all, it is us who are not going blind. He is our best friend and it is impossible to know what he thinks. But we can know what he feels and how he lives, and we also know how we would like to be treated if we were going through that situation.

Our eyes are his. His partner Molly, another Jack Russell, for three years, accompanies him and is his accomplice of games, meals, outings to the park …
On our side, we try to make things easier for him: to give him his vitamins and favorite cookies. We always remove it on a leash and we do not change the furniture in place.

We leave your toys and your bed in the same place as always. A whole map that has already been traced in the brain and in his nose, including a residential complex friendly with pets, with a park included.

Whatever it is for him, he is my best friend. And for the friends, one does what it is. Less a surgery, for that there is no cure.

This progressive retinal atrophy – the diagnosis that Dr. Ladino gave us – was a hard blow for a dog like the one I met 10 years ago. The genes threw a coin into the air and this jack Russell dropped the seal. But quiet, Archie, your best friend will do anything to make the rest of your life happier and more comfortable, you no longer have two eyes, you have all the eyes of your family.

Bogota Is Ready for 2018, the Great Pet Fair

Bogota Is Ready for 2018, the Great Pet Fair

Everything that revolves around the world of pets will be available to the public at Expopet 2018, which reaches its fifth edition. There will be four days in which, in the same space -in the Corferias campus, in Bogota- more than 180 exhibitors will be in charge of showing the novelties of the sector.

Cristina Católico, project manager of Corferias-Expopet, highlighted the activities that have been developed during the five years of the fair: the championship of canicross by relays, the International Feline Exhibition, the Agility Cup, the Exhibition and Exhibition of Birds and the Exhibition of Farm Animals and Minor Species. But this year, he says, the contest brings many surprises for visitors.

Bogota Is Ready for  2018, the Great Pet Fair

Birds, dogs, cats , fish, and hamsters, among other species, will also be protagonists. There will be academic activities, a varied commercial sample, judging tracks and the presence of more than 4,000 companion animals on display and competition.

Of course, brands and entrepreneurs that sell products to consent and protect pets will also be present. 

Patricia Villa, marketing director of Gabrica -brand dedicated to the welfare and health of pets- is one of the many entrepreneurs who has participated in each of the five editions of Expopet. And from his experience, he highlights that the fair has become a space with plans for everyone: amateurs, breeders, exhibitors, and pet lovers. And it is also a space for the family since it offers activities for children and adults, and of course, for our pets. 

Here we give you an appetizer of the event.

Team Agility

One of the activities that have accompanied Expopet since its first edition is the Agility Cup, which hopes to gather this year more than 100 pairs (dog and owner) that can participate in the categories 0, 1, 2 and elite in one International size track of 800 square meters. 

It will be held in levels 1 and 2 of Corferias Pavilion 6, will test carefully trained dogs in the wheel jumper, in walls and tunnels. The dogs that jump in the shortest possible time and with fewer faults will be the winners.
The companion of the dog (binomial) can also compete in the test in which the animal, in addition to the jumps, enters the ramp, the catwalk, and other obstacles, touching key points in the areas of the track to gain more points before the judges. 
For Javier Vega Villar, member of the Colombian Agility Commission of the Colombian Canine Club Association, the competition is designed so that, above all, the binomials have fun.

Ornithological Championship

Bird lovers will also have their own championship; a unique opportunity for the fascinating world of this species.The Colombian Federation of Ornithology, affiliated with the World Ornithological Confederation – and its affiliated associations – is in charge of organizing this event, which will take place on the second level of Corferias pavilion 8. 

More than 600 birds, of different species, will be both in competition and on display. And there will be a nice bird song competition. The event includes an important academic component, with the participation of national and international experts.