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Animal Equality in Mexico Fights to Recognize Animals in Law

From Mexico City to the state of Veracruz to the entire country, Animal Equality is fighting for the legal protection of animals in Mexico.
February 8, 2023 Updated: August 20, 2023

Animal Equality in Mexico has proposed three legislative initiatives to hold factory farms and slaughterhouses accountable for the well-being of the animals. These facilities notoriously place profits over the lives of animals. Without legal protections for animals like cows, pigs and chickens, authorities routinely overlook the resulting abuse. Animal Equality is looking to change that.

Mexico City Outlaws ‘Backyard’ Slaughterhouses

On February 2nd, the Congress of Mexico City passed legislation promoted by Animal Equality to outlaw clandestine slaughterhouses. Operators of these facilities will now be subject to 2 to 4 years in prison and a fine. The proposed legislation passed with 51 votes in favor, 2 against and 0 abstentions.

Since 2016, Animal Equality has investigated over 34 slaughterhouses in Mexico. Some of the facilities we documented are considered ‘clandestine’ or ‘backyard’ slaughterhouses—which operate in secrecy. In these slaughterhouses, Animal Equality has captured extreme animal abuse, unsanitary conditions and non-compliance with food safety. 

Evidence from these investigations helped promote the passing of this initiative in Mexico City.

This is undoubtedly progress in favor of animals of the utmost importance, which will lay the foundations and be an example for the entire country. This reform to the Code supports the idea that animals are sentient beings and we have obligations towards them.

-Dulce Ramírez, Animal Equality Vice President of Latin America

Initiative Presented in the State of Veracruz to Protect Animals in Law

On January 26th, Animal Equality attended a session in the Congress of the State of Veracruz to help propose an initiative that would include farmed animals in the state’s animal protection laws. The legislation was presented by Deputy Tania María Cruz Mejía, a member of the Legislative Group of the Green Ecologist Party in Mexico, and is supported by fellow animal protection organizations, such as the Coalition of Activists for Animal Rights in the State of Veracruz. 

In Veracruz, nearly 250 million animals are raised for human consumption without any type of protection—the majority are chickens and hens. The initiative seeks to regulate these animals and protect them from standard, inhumane farming practices like fasting, used to increase egg production, and the confinement of hens to cages so small they can’t spread their wings.

The initiative also includes protections for all animals, including basic necessities currently neglected in the state. This includes sufficient food and water, a safe and hygienic space, access to light and darkness, and environmental enrichment. The proposed law asks that the well-being and health of the animals are also considered when carrying out genetic selection, like that of chickens who are typically forced to grow so large so quickly they can’t even walk to their food or water.

Also included is a list of acts of cruelty to be outlawed under this law. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Fracturing animals’ limbs
  • Throwing animals into boiling water
  • Killing animals without prior stunning
  • Moving animals by using sharp objects, electric shock, or other methods that cause injury and pain

Following its reading, more than 30 deputies asked to join the initiative—representing a majority in favor of its approval.

If passed, Veracruz will follow in the footsteps of Hidalgo, which dedicated an entire chapter of law to protect farmed animals following intensive campaigning by Animal Equality. Nearly 50 million cows, pigs and chickens are now protected in Hidalgo.

Dulce Ramírez, Animal Equality’s Vice President of Latin American, with Deputy Tania Maria Cruz Mejia

Constitutional Changes to Give Congress Power To Protect Animals

In December of last year, Animal Equality—with Federal Deputy Fausto Gallardo García of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico—presented an initiative to modify Article 73 of the Mexican Constitution. The change would give Congress the power to legislate on animal welfare issues. This is a first and crucial step towards creating a General Law of Animal Welfare in Mexico. 

On January 25th,  the initiative was approved by the Constitutional Points Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and now awaits final steps in the Plenary of the Chamber.

You, too, can protect farmed animals from the worst abuses!

Animal Equality’s legislative work looks to put the law on the side of animals by providing even the most basic protections for farmed animals, which are currently not guaranteed. Only in this way can we begin to hold the meat and dairy industries accountable for animal abuse.

Animal Equality is dedicated to ending cruelty towards animals and creating a world in which all animals are respected and protected. As crucial as legal protections for animals is, this is just a step towards reducing some suffering while we work to eliminate their exploitation. This is only possible if we end factory farming for good.

Please join us in this fight by signing our End Factory Farming petition today:

Amplify the voices of animals exploited by the meat, dairy and egg industries by taking a personal stand against this cruelty. By simply choosing delicious, cruelty-free, plant-based alternatives, you can make a world of difference for animals every day.

Rescued hen held by Animal Equality volunteer


With rich emotional lives and unbreakable family bonds, farmed animals deserve to be protected.

You can build a kinder world by replacing animal food products with plant‑based ones.

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