On Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed legislation toughening punishments for individuals who mistreat pets or cats.
The far-right leader initially fought the measure, but eventually caved in to pressure from his wife Michelle de Paula Firmo, among others.
We learned that numerous dogs were brought to the event, including those belonging to the Bolsonaro family, Nestora, and a pit bull whose hind legs were severed with a machete in July in a city in southeastern Brazil.
“I never had any doubts about whether or not I was going to sanction, even after learning of the first lady’s approval in Congress,” Bolsonaro said, smiling and looking almost guiltily at his wife, who was present at the ceremony in which he stamped his signature on the law with his dog in his arms, though the dog did not appear to be very comfortable.
“This fills a void in animal abuse, an unspeakable act that other animals who believe they are rational do,” the king remarked.
Brazilian law imposes prison sentences ranging from three months to one year for animal abuse, but this new document increases the penalty to a maximum of five years, but only when the aggressions are directed at dogs or cats.
Furthermore, it forbids guilty individuals from possessing animals.
Bolsonaro first indicated that he would veto the bill because he believed the penalties of up to five years in prison for mistreating these animals were overblown.
“Anyone who abandons a newborn faces a six-month to three-year prison sentence.”
“So, anyone who mistreats a dog or a cat faces up to five years in prison,” he said around twenty days ago.
Is it because they care about animals, or is it just a nicer image?
Such concerns have arisen in the aftermath of the Brazilian President’s signing of the Animal Protection Act.
Environmentalists do not believe the president’s good intentions and remind him of how his actions lead to an ecological calamity in his country.
Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, demonstrated to the world that he is an animal lover when he signed the law with his dog.
The Animal Protection Act increases the penalty for dog and cat mistreatment, which was formerly punishable by three to twelve months in prison.
The offense will now be punishable by two to five years in prison, as well as a fine and a ban on pets, if the law is altered.
The Planalto Palace event has become a source of online humor for Brazilians and the rest of the globe.
Commentators relate the Brazilian law to pro-animal changes made by other unpopular presidents — all in an effort to improve their image.
It’s difficult to see the police genuinely enforcing punishments for animal abuse down in the deep interior, observes Latin Americanist Mateusz Mazzini.
Signing the law is particularly vexing for environmentalists in Brazil because it primarily impacts domestic animals.
Previously, Jair Bolsonaro drastically decreased the Ministry of Environment’s budget and lowered the number of civil servants and troops sent to combat forest fires.
The Pantanal wetlands are already in dangerous condition: 22% of the plain, or more than 3 million hectares, has been burned destroyed.
– A major portion of the fires we deal with, both in the Cerrado Amazon and the Pantanal, are sparked by powerful agricultural businesses, says Greenpeace’s Krzysztof Cibor.
The Pantanal wetlands are home to over 580 bird species, 271 fish species, and a plethora of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
The hyacinth macaw, jaguar, capybara, and giant otter are among the world’s rarest creatures that live in these locations.
Volunteers can only help with a subset of them.
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