Spay Panama, The Cinta Costera cat feeding ban


standing guard

To ban the feeding of animals on the Cinta Costera is to
hinder their sterilization and condemn them to starvation

by Spay Panama

Spay Panama, a veterinary foundation whose mission is the sterilization of at-risk domesticated animals to reduce their abandonment, alerts rescuers, animal protectors, associations and the citizenry in general, about the recent prohibition contained in Executive Decree 281, in which it is “Prohibited to feed animals of any sort” on the Cinta Costera.

This foundation reiterates that to neutralize the reproduction of dogs and cats is the only ethical and scientific action — proven in the First World — to curb their proliferation and prevent more offspring from being born to a life of sickness, hunger and human cruelty, which is what clause P of the decree published in the Gaceta Oficial obliges.

In four years, Spay Panama has neutered 72 cats that have been captured on the Cinta Costera by people aware of their vulnerability, and attended to for the most part by the program that the Panama City Mayor promotes through its Office of Animal Welfare.

Spay Panama warns that, as a side effect of this measure, those animals that are seldom observed at a glance because their nature is to not relate to humans, will migrate to nearby residential areas to break this hunger blockade, some to die in the attempt, others of starvation.

Feeding them is what allows them to fall into traps so that their immediate sterilization and holistic care can proceed. That’s what reduces their tearing into garbage bags and serves as a biological control barrier and repellent of certain diseases.

Executive Decree 281 creates a deadly precedent to the extent that it incites the unnecessary termination of their lives, which is prohibited by Section 6 of Article 4 of Law 78 of October 12, 2012 for the Protection of Domesticated Animals. The state is responsible for the protection of their whole existence, yet it would be the one that breaks the established norms.

This coming March, modfications of Article 421 of the Penal Code go into effect. These provide jail terms for all who cause the unnecessary death of a domesticated animal, by action or omission. It’s an act that was undertaken with broad consultation and the product of a prolonged struggle.

UDAW, the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare promulgated by the UN and of which Panama was the third country to ratify on December 1, 2013, recognizes these animals as living beings, which feel and suffer just like human beings.

Their inability to be self-sufficient for their defense holds us accountable as a superior species to advocate for their integrity, to protect them and to give future generations proof of our intelligence, solidarity and overriding capacity for tolerance.

We ask the Minister of the Presidency, the engineer Alvaro Alemán, to give us a few minutes of his time to enter into a dialogue that allows the cats’ survival.


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