The Cuban Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) formed a temporary working group to coordinate and implement actions with the organizations and institutions involved in the development of the Animal Welfare Policy, recently approved on the island.
Chaired by the deputy minister of MINAG and made up of specialists and officials related to the matter, the group’s missions include checking the completeness of the system of veterinary clinics, offices and pharmacies on the island, as established in Resolution 83/2021 of said ministry, reported the Cubadebate official website.
Likewise, it must inspect the state of the animal observation centers—the places, known as Zoonoses, highly criticized by activists and independent protectors due to abuse and malpractice— and review the program for the production of medicines, including natural ones, and recapitalization, in conjunction with the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.
— Ministerio de la Agricultura de Cuba (@MINAGCuba) March 28, 2021
The specialists must establish plans for the “creation of centers for the reception, rescue and rehabilitation of animals,” in addition to coordinating with the Ministry of Education the insertion of content on animal welfare in the study plans and programs in Cuban schools. They must also create a MINAG state inspection system “to impose the pertinent measures against infractions.”
After insistent demands from a growing and increasingly active animal protecting community within Cuban civil society, the island’s government approved a Decree-Law on Animal Welfare at the end of February, which establishes regulations on the conservation of biodiversity on the island, seeks to expand the population’s general culture and awareness on the subject, and penalizes mistreatment, abuse and cruelty against animals.
Its fundamental proposals regulate the principles, duties, rules and purposes with respect to the care, health and use of animals to guarantee their well-being, understanding as such the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies.
The document establishes the responsibilities of the State bodies and associative forms related to the welfare of animals and the principles that govern them. It also establishes the individual responsibility of owners and holders of animals to satisfy their basic needs and the obligations of the breeders.
The regulation must come into force 90 days after its publication in the Official Gazette, but one month after its approval by the Council of State, it had not yet been published.
The MINAG is now reporting the creation of the new temporary working group just when several protectors and activists for animal rights demand on social networks the final publication of the Decree-Law, which has not yet been ratified by the plenary session of Cuba’s National Assembly.