On 7th June 2022, the Hidalgo State Congress in Mexico voted unanimously for a new law to protect farmed animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. Hidalgo becomes the first State in Mexico to introduce protection for farmed animals on farms. The new law includes an amendment of the Penal Code which sanctions whoever operates or manages a clandestine slaughterhouse with two to four years of prison. It also prohibits any action that prolongs animal suffering and makes it compulsory to render the animals unconscious before killing them in licensed slaughterhouses.
Animal Equality, Biofutura, and other local animal protection groups promoted this initiative, which was tabled by deputy Elvia Sierra Vite. Everything started with a 2019 exposé of Animal Equality of an unregulated sheep farm and slaughterhouse in the state. It showed that many lambs became sick with serious respiratory problems, and often died. In the slaughterhouse, many were killed while fully conscious. As a consequence, Animal Equality filed a complaint to the authorities and launched a petition addressed to members of the Mexican Government calling for making such deliberate animal abuse in slaughterhouses a crime. In October 2021, Animal Equality released images and footage captured inside the Tizayuca Regional Municipal slaughterhouse in the state of Hidalgo, showing more animal abuse with workers hitting pigs with rods. Three more complaints were filed regarding this case.
On 20th December 2021, Animal Equality proposed the Law of Protection and Dignified Treatment for Animals to ban some of the cruellest practices in slaughterhouses and to introduce new protections for animals on farms in the state of Hidalgo, which is the one that Congress has now passed. Dulce Ramírez, Vice-President for Latin America for Animal Equality, said, “This is undoubtedly progress of great importance for farmed animals, not only for this state but also in setting an example for the whole country. This initiative shows that animals are sentient beings and that we have obligations towards them.”