This country's score has worsened since 2014.
However, the Chilean Civil Code treats animals as property. In fact, animals are defined as ‘moveable assets’ in article 567, since they can move themselves. As a result, the owner of the animal is responsible for all the damages caused by the animal, even after it has been released or lost. This is true unless the release, loss, or damage cannot be imputable to the owner’s fault.
However, Article 16 outlines that anti-cruelty provisions do not apply to ‘sports in which animals participate, such as rodeos, cow runs and equestrian sports,’ which shall be governed by their respective regulations.
It is also positive that Article 291 TER of the Penal Code includes acts of negligence in the definition of animal cruelty.
Decree No. 29 of 2012 regulates the protection of animals during their industrial production, their commercialisation and in other animal keeping areas, such as zoos, circuses and exhibition places. Article 6 details the prohibitions on the handling of animals, which would cause them unnecessary pain or suffering. However, the use of electrical stimulation is justified in some cases, such as when an animal refuses to move forward. The Decree also states that the person in charge of the animals must be trained in aspects such as: handling and proper movement of the animals, in order to avoid physical injuries, and to minimize pain and suffering, among other aspects.
Rearing – pigs
Rearing – broiler chickens
Rearing – egg-laying hens
Rearing – dairy cattle and calves
Decree No. 30 of 2012 focuses on the protection of animals during transport. Article 4 rules that animal transport should not cause unnecessary suffering. Article 5 explains that the SAG will encourage the preparation of good practices that contain recommendations on how to comply with article 4. An example of such good practice manual was created for pigs in 2019. Decree No. 30 complements Decree No. 240, dating from 1993, which contains the requirements for vehicles utilised in cattle and meat by land, rail, water, and air transportation. Livestock loading must be done in a way to avoid injuries to the animals. The carrier is responsible for the supervision of the animals and must allow them to rest and provide them with drinking water every 24 hours and for a period of eight hours each time.
In 2002, inspections of slaughterhouses were transferred from the Ministry of Health to the SAG. Since the SAG is now responsible for verifying that farms and slaughterhouses abide by animal protection regulations, there should be public evidence of the results of such inspections. Such records have not been found.
Law No. 18859 introduced a new offence in the Penal Code relating to cruelty towards animals. Penalties were strengthened by the adoption of Article 18 in Law 20380. In its present form, the law states that anyone committing acts of mistreatment or cruelty to animals shall be punished with the penalty of minor imprisonment in its minimum to medium grades and/or a fine of two to thirty monthly tax units.’
As a general principle, Article 3 of Law 20380 establishes that the freedom of movement of wild animals should not be unnecessarily restricted, especially if this causes suffering or alters their normal behaviour.
Private keeping of wild animals
No legislation has been found specifically relating to the private keeping of wild animals.
Care of companion animals
Article 7 establishes that municipalities must issue an ordinance on the responsible possession of pets.
Article 10 creates a duty of care on pet owners, and article 13 mandates that pet owners have a civil liability to the damage that pets may cause. Article 12 forbids the abandonment of pets, which is considered animal abuse.
In addition to the national sterilisation programme, initiatives at the municipal level demonstrate the government’s intention to improve the welfare of stray animals. In August 2014, Santiago’s mayor Christian Vittori formed a brigade of 12 stray dogs, trained to patrol and protect the streets. The goal of this initiative was two-fold: reflect on responsible ownership of dogs by giving them a purpose and, secondly, to recover the abandoned dog population and to train them to be useful to the community. However, no record was found of how much public funding is allocated to such neuter programmes or initiatives for the rehabilitation of stray dogs.
Animals used for entertainment
However, Article 16 exempts ‘sports in which animals participate, such as rodeo, cow runs, movement to rein and equestrian sports’ to be considered under Law 20380, since such activities ‘shall be governed by their respective regulations.’
No legislation has been found specifically relating to animals used for draught.
There are enforcement mechanisms consisting of fines and imprisonment for breaches of the anti-cruelty provisions of Law 20380. Article 18 states that anyone who commits acts of mistreatment or cruelty to animals shall be punished with the penalty of minor imprisonment in its minimum to medium grades and a fine of two to thirty monthly tax units, or only with the latter.
Moreover, Article 13 creates enforcement mechanisms for breach of Article 5, which mandates adequate facilities for species kept in captive settings – for show for exhibitions, laboratories, production or sale of animals. Article 13 establishes that anyone found guilty of mistreatment under Article 5 will be sanctioned with a fine of one to 50 monthly tributary units. In case of recidivism, the fine may be doubled. Compliance with the regulation will be supervised by the Agricultural and Livestock Service, according to the procedure established in Lay 18755.
However, since no legislation has been found on draught animals, there are no enforcement mechanisms associated to this category of animals.
- The Government is strongly encouraged to enact a ban on the use of all animals in circuses. A first step would be achieved by outlawing the use of wild animals in circuses, following the examples set by numerous countries doing so, such as Bolivia.
- At minimum, the Government of Chile is encouraged to repeal Article 16, so that sports using animals for entertainment are subject to the same anti-cruelty provision that any other use of animals.