Animal Equality Delivers 100,000 Signatures to Mexican Congress
On March 14th, efforts to include animals in the Mexican Constitution reached a significant milestone when Animal Equality’s team presented 100,000 petition signatures in Mexico’s Congress of the Union. This effort is part of Animal Equality’s broader campaign to secure constitutional recognition for animals in Mexico.
Because animal welfare laws are currently determined by local and state governments, inconsistencies across the country create difficulties with enforcement. Altering Article 73 of the Federal Constitution would give Congress the power to create animal welfare laws that would supersede state and local regulations.
Animal Equality members and volunteers gathered outside the Chamber of Deputies as petitions were delivered, calling attention to the harsh realities of animal cruelty in the agriculture industry. Holding up striking posters that depicted the suffering experienced by animals, they called for stronger legal protections to better safeguard animals from pain and suffering.
Animal Equality’s Journey to the Chamber
Animal Equality’s journey to the highest levels of Mexican Government stems from the organization’s recent work across the nation.
During investigations into slaughterhouses and farms, Animal Equality’s teams documented animals being hanged by their hind legs as they bled to death, conscious pigs being dropped into scalding hot water, pigs beat with axes, a lamb’s head ripped from its body while conscious, the electrocution of animals, and the presence of underage workers in slaughterhouses.
Animal Equality’s campaigning and investigations paid off in 2019 when lawmakers in the state of Jalisco approved an initiative to criminalize cruelty to farmed animals at slaughterhouses. Since that time, Animal Equality has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and other animal welfare groups to ensure proper implementation of the new regulations. Animal Equality has since been included in Jalisco’s Council for the Care and Welfare of Animals, highlighting ongoing efforts to improve the lives of animals in the state.
In 2022, the state of Hidalgo followed Jalisco’s example by creating an entire chapter of law dedicated to animal welfare on farms. These laws criminalized some of the most egregious behaviors, such as killing animals without prior stunning. Video surveillance became a requirement, while the state also cracked down on “backyard” slaughterhouses. Mexico City recently criminalized these clandestine operations, as well.
Finally, in December 2022, Animal Equality proposed an initiative in the state of Veracruz to prohibit practices such as fracturing animals’ limbs and submerging them in boiling water while still alive. The proposal received majority approval from the deputies after its presentation in the Congress of the State of Veracruz.
Together, these legislative steps led Animal Equality to advocate for nationwide reform, culminating in the organization’s presence before the Congress of the Union.
Mexico’s Path to Animal Welfare Reform
Animal Equality presented its initiative to modify Article 73 of the Federal Constitution in December of 2022. This January, the Constitutional Points Commission of the Chamber of Deputies approved it with 15 votes in favor, 5 against, and 1 abstention. It was then sent to the Board of Directors.
Because the legislative process is now on hold, the delivery of these 100,000 signatures is intended to expedite its journey to the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Republic, who must ultimately approve it. Fortunately, Animal Equality has been working with Federal Deputy Fausto Gallardo García of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico to move this proposal forward.
I am sure that legislators will recognize the urgent and compelling need for this initiative and that they will not deny animals the most basic protections for their lives and well-being. It is urgent to make structural changes that begin with the laws.–Dulce Ramírez, Vice President for Latin America // Animal Equality
Compassion on the Rise in Mexico and the U.S.
While Animal Equality’s legislative work is setting the stage for future reforms, the only way to eliminate animal cruelty completely is by committing to reducing animal products from your meals.
In both Mexico and the United States, millions of consumers are taking steps toward a more compassionate future by choosing plant-based alternatives. With free online resources and a wide range of plant-based options readily available in grocery stores, making this transition has become more convenient than ever.