Argentina

D
Argentina
Recognising animal protection

Recognising animal protection

This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.

C

Formal recognition of animal sentience

There is legislation with partial application

Law 14346, published in 1954, contains the current provisions on animal protection in the Argentinian criminal code. Among these provisions there are prohibited conducts including overloading animals and the practice of invasive surgery. Although animal sentience is not specifically acknowledged in the law, the content of the law does acknowledge some aspects of sentience and suggests that the motivation behind the law is to reduce the infliction of pain on animals.  For example, Article 3(7) prohibits intentionally causing unnecessary suffering.  

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The main national Argentinian law on the protection of animals was enacted in 1954; the government is encouraged to update it in order to introduce elements of sentience. As the law stands today, it is useful to introduce animal welfare in some policy discussions, and further acknowledgment and comprehension of the concept of sentience should help to develop the existing animal protection legislation.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Law 14346 adds a series of offences to the Argentinian criminal code. There is an allocated responsibility for implementation of the law, but there is no identified organ or body for policy or secondary legislation development in the system, which on the particular issue of sentience recognition means that the existing framework does not cater for a mechanism or procedure for progress.  However, this may not necessarily prove to be a barrier to progress if the government wishes to take action to improve its animal protection legislation. There are very encouraging signs of the government’s interest in animal protection, for example, an animal welfare commission has been established.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The enforcement mechanisms set out in Article 1 of Law 14346 are relevant to the partial recognition of sentience in that law. Infringement is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment of between 15 days and one year.

F

Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

There is no government support

The government has not expressed support in principle for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

Note: The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed formal international acknowledgment of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Support for the UDAW would be a first step into integrating animal protection considerations into different discussion forums, becoming a soft law source for decision makers interested in improving animal protection in the country.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Given the government’s interest in improving animal welfare in the country demonstrated by the establishment of an animal welfare commission, there are not considered to be any significant barriers to a pledge in principle of support for the UDAW.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There is no policy or legislation relevant to this indicator.

C

Laws against causing animal suffering

There is legislation with partial application

Law 14346 provides basic animal protection by prohibiting certain types of conduct towards animals. However there are no definitions to assist with understanding whether or not the legislation covers all animals, and some conducts are specifically expressed to apply to domestic animals. In addition, there are no offences of causing harm by failure to act.

The law refers to two types of offences: bad treatment or abuse of animals, and cruelty to animals. The latter refers to eight conducts of which five are in some form connected with animals in experimentation or surgical procedures. On the description of the first offence there is a reference to “domestic and captive animals” upon which the six conducts that constitute an offence of abuse are built.  

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Law 14346 came as an evolution of Law 2786 (of 1891), which established that animal abuse was a criminal offence. Argentina was therefore a front runner in the area of animal protection legislation, and the criminalisation of abuse against animals has contributed to the raising the profile of animal welfare issues in the country. However, further development of legislation would be beneficial with respect to ensuring that issues of neglect or failure to act are sufficiently addressed and with respect to the importance of positive actions to promote animal welfare.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

While the association of animal protection legislation with criminal law and criminal procedures is an important mechanism for enforcement of existing regulations, there is no indication in the legislation that responsibility for developing accompanying policies or secondary legislation falls to any specific government body. Despite this, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, through the National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA), does have a commission on animal welfare. There are no apparent limits to the issues that this commission may address, but since the creation of the commission in 2004 it appears to have focused only on producing norms relating to the use of animals in farming. Taking into consideration that there are no apparent legal limitations to the scope of the commission, the government is encouraged to work through the commission and the Ministry of Agriculture to further develop policy and legislation addressing the protection of animals in the country.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the relevant provisions of Law 14346, set out in Article 1: infringement of the law is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment of between 15 days and one year.

A

Protecting animals used in farming

There is legislation

The relevant legislation applicable to animals used in farming is Law 14346 of 1954. In addition, the government has produced specific legislation on slaughter (Law 18819 published in 1970) and on live animal transport (the National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food’s Resolution 97 of 1999). Accompanying these norms, there is a legislative framework on farm animal health, including the creation of a specific unit of enforcement (the Animal Health Police) and provisions for the control of a number of animal diseases, particularly those affecting livestock.

In addition to this, the National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA) has produced manuals and policy literature describing good practice in the sector, with a series of recommendations and guidance on rearing, general animal welfare and transport of animals used in agriculture. 

The government has also produced decrees in 2001 defining what (voluntary) animal welfare conditions must be observed in order for meat products to be entitled to be labelled “organic”. 

Finally, the livestock industry has a dedicated institution for promotional activity. The Institute for the Promotion of Argentinian Beef was established by law and on its directing council there are representatives from the government alongside representatives from the industry. This body has produced literature on animal welfare and on the relationship of welfare with production.  

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Taking into consideration the importance of livestock production in the country, the government has emphasised the importance of animal welfare and its relationship with the quality of products and with general animal health. The government has therefore produced specific legislation and policy literature effective to make farm animal welfare of mainstream concern in the country. Although there are still issues associated with rearing and transport reported in the country, the norms offer a framework of regulation by which aspects that are potentially detrimental to animal welfare for this category of animals are addressed.

The government has passed regulation on organic products, giving special consideration to animal welfare provisions. It is important to note that standard livestock products in Argentina are reported by the National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA) to be produced in non-intensive systems in which animals are raised in conditions in which they can roam freely for most of their lives.

The accompanying policy makes reference to international guiding principles on animal welfare and has recommendations for producers, transporters and other agents involved in animal management to follow good practice on animal welfare. In addition, there is evidence that the government has produced literature explaining the advantages of good animal welfare and the positive influence that such standards can have in the production and management of farmed animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The legislation and policy on farmed animal welfare includes the allocation of responsibility of the development of policy on animal welfare to a specific body within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock in Argentina. In turn, this body has created a specific commission in which relevant stakeholders can participate in the formulation of provisions for improving animal welfare. This commission was created under resolutions 253 of 2002 and 259 of 2004 from the National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA), which also establish the financial resource available for the enactment of the commission’s objectives.

Therefore, although there are reports[1] indicating that standards of implementation of existing regulation relevant to this indicator are at present not particularly high, it appears that there are no significant barriers to improvement in this area.

 

[1] For example, reports 2008-2012 from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission. In particular, report of November 2012 (DG(SANCO) 2012-6399 - MR FINAL) has examples of lack of implementation of measures involving the movement of animals  

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The legislation contains multiple mechanisms of enforcement, from imprisonment for basic criminal offences to special police powers, enforcement powers specifically created for veterinary surgeons (in law 18819 of 1970), licence cancellation and controls by registry books. In addition, there is evidence of the government’s effort to produce accompanying policy documents that promote understanding of animal welfare issues relevant to this indicator as well as manuals containing specific recommendations aligning with international standards of welfare for this category of animals. 

D

Protecting animals in captivity

There is legislation with partial application

Law 14346 contains two main sections outlining the type of punishable offences under the criminal code. The first, on conducts that constitute abuse or mistreatment, is specifically applicable to domestic and captive animals. The second, on conducts that constitute cruelty, does not have this narrower scope and can be applied to all animals (except where otherwise specified).

The conducts described in both sections, however, while referring specifically to basic integrity and protection of life (for example, establishing that preventing access to food and water is an offence), do not contain specific measures to protect captive animals, nor do they specify species of animals for which captivity is not permitted.

The province of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires does have a ban on using animals in circuses, regardless of the species, providing a clear example of issues that are currently outside the scope of the national legislation but that could be regulated nationally. 

It is also important to mention that Law 22421 of 1981 provides that wild captive animals are covered by this law in Article 3, Number 2. However the provisions are not formulated from a perspective of protection of the welfare of individual animals, but rather for conservation and biodiversity purposes.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The existing legislation has a number of provisions that appear to be specifically directed to prohibiting conducts that could relate to animals kept in captivity. However, although the conducts described in Law 14346 aim to bring some protection on a basic level, close examination shows that there are no provisions addressing welfare problems created by captivity. The government is encouraged to update the existing legislation to acknowledge that certain aspects of captivity can have a detrimental effect on animal welfare and as such, these situations need to be regulated or prevented. 

Under Law 22421 of 1981, there are no specific references to protection for wild captive animals on an individual basis. One of the few articles referring to wild captive animals is Article 19, which encourages provincial legislation to produce measures on “Captive breeding and rearing of wild species, for economic exploitation”. There is no further guidance on the limits and scope of this mandate. However, international experience suggests that captive wild animal breeding may be the source of potentially detrimental situations for the welfare of animals in this category.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no evidence of human resource or financial resource allocated to the development of policy and legislation for the protection of animals in this category. As expressed before, while it is positive that the government has categorised abuse and cruelty towards animals as punishable criminal offences for which an explicit enforcement mechanism exists, there are no legislative tools providing for the development of further policy and legislation. However this has not prevented the existence of such bodies in relation to other categories of animals (as seen in the indicator related to animals used in farming), so there may be ways available to overcome this barrier.  

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the relevant provisions of Law 14346, set out in Article 1: infringement of the law is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment of between 15 days and one year.

C

Protecting companion animals

There is legislation with partial application

Law 14346 refers to “domestic” animals to describe the first category of criminal offences in relation to the abuse of animals, and some general provisions could be said to apply from the category of cruelty to animals. However there is no specific acknowledgement of the welfare problems that can be prevented or of the recommended guidelines for the care of animals in this category, which probably results from the criminal law focus of the existing legislation. There are no specifications or regulations on the trade in companion animals and there are no national regulations on stray population control. 

At a provincial level, the province of Buenos Aires has produced specific legislation (Law 13879 of 2005) on stray animal population control. This legislation abandons the idea of culling as an acceptable method and establishes sterilisation as the only applicable method in the province. It also introduces obligations to deworm cats and dogs, as well as reiterating that animal abuse, as described in Law 14346, is prohibited.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Although some of the provisions in the existing legislation are applicable to companion animals, the legislation does not acknowledge the specific challenges that companion animals may face and the welfare problems that can derive from poor standards of care. In addition, other than in the province of Buenos Aires, there is a need for regulation of stray population control. The Buenos Aires law (and similar legislation in some other provinces of Argentina) is useful effectively to make the welfare of this categories of animals of mainstream concern to society, as it raises the expected standards of state control over this issue (in connection with public health) and also raises the expected standards of owners who then have a clearer duty of care.

The Buenos Aires legislation has provided inspiration to a number of groups that work with animals in the country. In the public sphere, there appears to be an increase in organisations promoting animal rights (as distinct from animal welfare), which are influencing provincial legislative development. Overall, the issue of the welfare of companion animals appears to have good traction in the country and is inspiring provincial legislation to protect this category of animals. There is no evidence found of plans to update legislation from 1954.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is no evidence that existing legislation has allocated any human or financial resource to the development of policy and legislation for the protection of animals in this category. However there appears to be increasing recognition of this issue at a provincial level, which goes some way to removing barriers to improvement in this area.   Provincial governments are encouraged to continue to regulate population control and other issues related to companion animals.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The general enforcement mechanism in Law 14346 is applicable to this category of animals. The production of provincial legislation on the matter has also created direct links with Law 14346 in addition to specific duties of care towards companion animals. The nature of criminal legislation makes it more difficult to establish preventive measures, and secondary legislation or policy development could be helpful to address this.  

C

Protecting animals used for draught and recreation

There is legislation with partial application

Law 14346 of 1954 creates two categories of punishable conducts. The first, in Article 2, includes conducts that constitute abuse to domestic and captive animals and the second describes conducts that constitute cruelty to animals. Out of the six conducts described as abuse, three of them refer to working animals and one more refers specifically to animals used for draught purposes. Therefore the article establishes that overloading animals, making them work when they are ill or unsuitable for the work, and even harassing them, are conducts punishable by criminal law.

The legislation includes a provision for the protection of performing animals, in the form of a prohibition on public or private shows in which animals are killed, hurt or harassed, including cockfighting, bullfighting and shows that are similar to rodeos.

Some provinces and cities have produced legislation limiting or banning altogether the use of animals in circuses. An example of this can be found in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, where Law 1446 produced in 2004 has a general ban on any animals in circuses. 

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The legislation on working animals, and in particular on animals used for draught purposes, seems to have been one of the main concerns of the 1954 legislation, which established a group of criminal offences against animals in this category in addition to the general animal protection measures. Issues with animals in this category are still a problem, with evidence suggesting that impoverished parts of urban areas present a particular challenge for the welfare of draught horses. Provincial and municipal legislation has been produced to address this issue, thus connecting initiatives on sustainability and employment to those of animal welfare and animal protection. 

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The existing legislation does not provide a framework for policy or further legislative national work to be produced. There is no evidence of allocation of human or financial resource to improve animal welfare in this particular category. The legislation also appears to have been interpreted in a way that has allowed some forms of performance where animals have been found to have low animal welfare conditions; certain forms of entertainment may have escaped implementation and enforcement.  For example, circuses with wild animals are allowed in the country (although some provinces have banned this). However, there are positive signs of interest in improving animal protection in the country, for example, an animal welfare commission has been established, which suggests that improvement may be possible.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the relevant provisions of Law 14346, set out in Article 1: infringement of the law is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment of between 15 days and one year.

C

Protecting animals used in scientific research

There is legislation

Law 14346 of 1954 regulates activities in relation to animals in this category. Conducts described in Article 3, which describe criminal offences of cruelty to animals, include five different offences in relation to animals used for scientific research. The use of animals in research is permitted, but some specific conducts are prohibited and the scope for experimentation is narrowed. The law prohibits conducts when they imply lack of qualification, demonstrable scientific interest or urgent need to undertake procedures on animals, and negligent conducts, such as abandoning an animal once the experiment has concluded or not supplying anaesthetics where needed. There is an important restriction not to undertake experiments on animals that are on an evolutionary scale superior to that needed for the particular desired outcome.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Although there is no direct reference to the international principles of the Three Rs, the legislation does appear to be based on these principles, albeit falling short in some aspects. This is evidence of a desire by the government to restrict animal experimentation in so far as it is detrimental to animal welfare. However the legislation grants exceptions to each prohibited conduct. Some of these are natural to the legal mandate (such as urgent surgery to save the life of an animal), but others could be questioned, such as the exceptions to undertake vivisection, except when it is performed by an unauthorised person. Good international regulations tend to ban this practice altogether or implement a series of onerous restrictions on it.

This may result from the fact that the legislation was produced in 1954, so it does not take into account the technologies and models in existence which could provide better replacement alternatives and that have influenced countries around the world to tighten regulations on animal experimentation. The government is encouraged to review the existing legislation in light of these international developments.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The Argentinian system for animal protection does not have a body or organ tasked with the development of further legislation and policy in this area, with the exception of the category of animals used in farming. Legislation for the protection of animals used in scientific research requires a higher level of technical definition, without which animal welfare can be potentially compromised or implementation can become a matter of individual interpretation. The legislation would benefit greatly from further detail and from the allocation of human resource and financial resource to drive progress in this area.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for the relevant provisions of Law 14346, set out in Article 1: infringement of the law is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment of between 15 days and one year. However the implementation mechanism does not include elements for the appropriate interpretation of highly technical aspects and issues which can only be defined from a scientific perspective, such as pertinence of the experiment or the establishment of which kind of animal could be suitable from an evolutionary perspective to fulfil the desired outcome of an experiment.

C

Protecting the welfare of wild animals

There is legislation with partial application

In a similar manner to other legislative systems, the legal regulation of certain aspects of the protection of wild animals falls within a different set of norms from those preventing cruelty and abuse. It could be said that nothing prevents the anti-cruelty rules (Article 3 on Law 14346 of 1954) being applied to wild animals, but given the specificity of such conducts (for instance on issues pertaining to animal experimentation) wild animals do not appear to have been in the contemplation of this law, nor is there any specific acknowledgment in the law of potential welfare challenges for animals in the wild.

Law 22421 of 1981, which sets a framework in which provincial legislation may be developed, declares that the protection, conservation, population management and sustainable exploitation of wildlife are of public interest and establishes that provincial regulation will take conservation as the primary concern over cultural, economic, recreational, aesthetical and other benefits that wildlife may offer. Each province within Argentina has a degree of autonomy regarding regulation of the conservation of wild animals and examples of legislation can be found for each province.

The Argentinian Constitution contains similar wording by which it is expressed that biodiversity and a safe environment are rights that should be enjoyed by nationals.  As such, the legislation has a number of provisions within the spectrum of conservation, for which protection of ecosystems and collective populations are a priority (therefore, not necessarily derived from a perspective where animal welfare and the protection of individual animals take priority). Hunting regulations appear in this group. This law does introduce concepts of animal health for wild animals and a framework for illegal trafficking of certain species. The legislation also promotes the creation of sanctuaries for the protection of wildlife as a “preferred” option, but does not prohibit the existence of private or public profit-making collections. 

There are also specific legal restrictions on hunting particular species of wild animals; for example, Law 25577 (cetaceans) and Law 25052 (orca whales).

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Law 22421 establishes the framework and the minimum conditions that provinces in Argentina should follow to ensure that the objectives of protection, management and conservation of biodiversity are met. This implies the existence of regulations on issues that do not specifically relate to animal welfare (and some of which could actually be considered to be detrimental to the welfare of specific individuals), such as hunting regulations or the promotion of measures for the rearing and breeding of wild animals in captivity. Law 22421 also includes measures to address wildlife trafficking. The government is encouraged to continue with the production of national or provincial legislation that goes beyond the roadmap traced by this law in order to improve the protection of the welfare of wild animals in the country.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Law 22421 effectively acts as a framework for provincial legislation to be produced; Chapter VII establishes that each province will allocate responsibility in a dedicated authority. Article 22 establishes the functions and responsibilities of said authority, including administering the funds for the implementation of the law, and establishes that the national authority can provide subsidies to provinces for the enactment of the legal objectives. There is no evidence of significant barriers to improvement here.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Even though provincial legislation can produce specific enforcement mechanisms to implement provincial law, Law 22421 specifies a range of mechanisms available depending on the transgression. Imprisonment is reserved for hunting and trafficking violations, with fines and administrative sanctions for corporations for other violations. In addition, the law provides that provincial legislation should introduce its own forms of enforcement, and sets out a number of faculties and powers that enforcement agents will have. Furthermore, Articles 31 to 33 explain a number of educative and cooperative measures that should be in place for the legislation to be implemented, including raising awareness and education on conservation and wildlife protection. 

Governance structures and systems

Governance structures and systems

This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.

C

Government accountability for animal welfare

There is legislation with partial application

The National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA), an organ of the Ministry of Agriculture, produced legislation in 2002 and 2004 under which a National Commission for Animal Welfare was created. There is no formal evidence that this commission acts beyond the sphere of welfare of animals used in farming, but representatives of this commission do appear to represent the wider spectrum of animal welfare in conferences and regional summits on the subject matter.

Likewise, there is evidence of legislation mandates according to which provincial authorities should be appointed for the implementation of laws on conservation and protection of wild animals.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

A major area of concern over the Argentinian system of animal protection is the lack of a specific responsible authority in charge of developing policy and legislation on animal welfare. In the case of animals used for farming, there is clear development of policy literature and provisions on transport and other matters that directly help to improve animal welfare. The government is encouraged to extend the scope of action of this commission or to update the legislation to provide a similar structure relevant to other categories of animals. 

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

In the existing legislation there is no established framework which would allow allocation of responsibility in any Ministerial department or body. However, given the government’s demonstration of interest in improving farm animal protection with the establishment of a national commission on animal welfare, there would not seem to be any significant barriers to further action and to clarifying responsibilities for animal protection in the country. 

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The duties of the National Commission for Animal Welfare (SENASA) are mandated by legislation and therefore subject to government accountability mechanisms.

Animal welfare standards

Animal welfare standards

This theme examines whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.

D

Engagement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

There is policy

Argentina is active in engagement with the OIE and the OIE regional representation for the Americas has been situated in Buenos Aires since 1998.  The main objective of the regional representation is to contribute to improving animal disease surveillance in the region, to harmonise animal disease control and to train national veterinary managers in the field of analysis animal health risks.

In 2003, the Argentinian government signed an agreement with the OIE concerning the headquarters of the OIE regional representation for the Americas and its privileges and immunities on Argentine territory. 

In 2013 an OIE PVS veterinary mission was requested but not yet completed in Argentina. This complements a series of initiatives and reports that the country has produced for the control of animal disease, particularly in livestock and in collaboration with neighbouring countries in the region and with trade partners.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Argentinian government has made a great effort in involving the OIE in its programmes and policies and takes pride in having a low rate of disease among livestock, which is one of the most important export products for the country. This has allowed the government to be a key player in the definition of activities and policies on the OIE Regional Strategy for Animal Welfare in the Americas. The country hosts the regional representation of the organisation, which has a close link with the Collaborating Centre in Uruguay. However, efforts appear to be focused on the issue of farm animal welfare and further efforts are needed to advance the protection of other categories of animal.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

One of the existing barriers in the Argentinian animal protection system is the lack of a central government representative for animal welfare which covers or addresses animal welfare and protection for all categories of animals. The Animal Welfare Commission at the heart of Argentina’s National Service of Health and Quality of Agricultural Food (SENASA) goes some way to fill this gap, but the government is encouraged to provide some further legal support to the Commission’s work and potential further interaction with the OIE to address other problems that the country is facing, for instance on stray dog population control.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There do not appear to be any enforcement mechanisms related to this indicator.

C

OIE animal welfare standards

There is legislation with partial application

The Argentinian system of animal protection covers some of the issues that appear in the animal welfare standards of the OIE, and some of the OIE’s guiding principles appear in some of the provisions analysed. There are a number of issues that do not appear in Argentinian legislation or policy, such as stray dog population control, any standards for fish farming (including transport) and broiler chicken production systems. Further development is desirable regarding existing regulations on slaughter, transport and the use of animals in research.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The government has taken substantial steps in producing policy and legislation to protect farmed animals, thus covering a good section of the OIE’s standards. The existing standards may offer guidance to the country to develop some systems of protection on issues that do not currently have full regulation, such as the use of animals in scientific research. As it stands today, Argentinian legislation has some basic needs covered, but reference to secondary legislation incorporating the OIE’s standards could help to promote better animal welfare in the country.  

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There is evidence that human and financial resources exist for the development of the mechanisms of transposition of the animal welfare standards and animal welfare principles into legislation, in particular in relation to animals used for farming. The government is encouraged to continue working on the introduction of the OIE’s standards by updating legislation or by producing secondary legislation to transpose some of the existing measures and add clarity to existing provisions.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Those OIE standards that do appear in legislation, for example in relation to farmed animals, do have enforcement mechanisms in law.

G

Reporting on progress

There is no policy or legislation

There is no evidence that the country has regulated any procedures for the production of reports on animal welfare improvement. There are no publicly available statistics, information collection mandates or systems for capturing information relevant to this indicator.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

One of the ways in which a country can manage and improve animal welfare is by capturing, analysing and producing information on animals in the country and their situation. Taking into consideration that the core of the animal protection system in Argentina is a criminal law, figures on convictions, number of cases seen by relevant authorities, and prosecution rates would be extremely useful for the management of this subject matter in the country. 

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There do not appear to be any significant financial barriers to the production of reports in this area, but the lack of a specific government body responsible for promoting the welfare of all categories of animals may present a practical barrier to improvement in the short term. The government is encouraged to commence reporting on progress to improve animal welfare commencing with transposition and implementation of the OIE’s animal welfare standards to which the country has expressed its commitment.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Providing humane education

Providing humane education

This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.

F

Education on animal care and protection

Policy is being discussed or developed

There is no evidence that current education curriculum and programmes on professional education include any animal welfare components. There is some indication, nevertheless, that the government has a general policy or intent to introduce animal protection education. Article 31 of Law 22421 on the protection of wildlife provides that the government will make efforts to promote education on wildlife and will encourage provincial government to do so as well.

The Ministry of Education participates in the country’s Animal Day (29 April). On the Ministry’s website information on the animal day has references to some conservation, animal welfare and animal rights organisations and in addition, refers to the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, thus showing that there is some form of endorsement of animal protection initiatives by the government.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Formalisation of animal welfare components in a country’s education system is one of the most powerful ways to make the concept of animal welfare a mainstream concern of society. There is evidence that the government has interest in pursuing this avenue, but no evidence of formal education plans or curricula with animal welfare content was found.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There do not appear to be significant financial or cultural barriers to the introduction of animal welfare components into the national education system. 

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Promoting communication and awareness

Promoting communication and awareness

This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.

E

Consultation with stakeholders

Policy is being discussed or developed

Although the existing animal protection legislation does not have a framework for the development of policy or further legislation in consultation with relevant stakeholders, it is understood that the government has undertaken some steps towards interaction with animal protection associations.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Political pressure from organisations with an animal rights perspective has been instrumental in the production of provincial legislation that introduces humane methods of stray dog population control via sterilisation.

Likewise, and given the importance of the livestock sector in the country, the existence of legally sanctioned organisations such as the Institute for the Promotion of Argentinian Beef allows industry views to be considered and policy materials on animal welfare to be produced for this sector in cooperation with such organisations.

As previously mentioned, progress in improving animal welfare would be advanced by the updating of the existing legislative framework and by the establishment of a central comprehensive body with responsibility for animal welfare promotion. The existing work with relevant international and national stakeholders will hopefully also continue.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The existence of some interaction with animal protection organisations suggests a willingness of the government to engage with relevant stakeholders.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

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The Argentine economy is currently experiencing a range of issues, from high inflation to declining reserves and a weakening current account, caused by “fiscal and monetary expansion”. The EIU contends that there is an increased risk of recession. However, the BMI maintains its belief and forecast that Argentina will see a growth rate of 2.9% in 2014. Domestically, wage increases have been granted to security forces and public debt exceeds 40% of GDP. The high inflation (one forecasts of yearly average inflation rate puts it at 31% for 2014) is explained by the need for the state to print money to service its debt. Exports are expected to be modest, especially as Argentina’s main trade partner, Brazil is expected to display modest growth. In the long terms, real GDP growth rate is forecast to be 3.2% for the period 2012-30.

 

 

Date of information: 11/02/2014
Population 
41,086,927 (2012)
GDP 
$470,532,788,510 (2012)
GDP (PPP) 
N.A.
Education expenditure (% of GDP) 
5.8 (2010)