On 19th October 2023, the deputies of the Mexico City Congress approved an amendment to the CDMX Animal Protection and Welfare Law to restrict the sale of certain animals in public places, which will be done by extending the prohibition of spaces where live animals cannot be sold. With the new law, it will now be illegal to sell animals such as dogs, cats, rodents, birds, and reptiles in public roads, which include street stalls and markets.
Deputy Jesús Sesma, president of the Animal Protection Commission, said, “Derived from the fact that in the current law, it is established that animals cannot be sold in public markets, it is proposed to expand it to public roads.”
Article 65 of the new law punishes with a fine of one to 150 times the current Mexico City Unit of Account or arrest for 24 to 36 hours, those selling live animals in prohibited spaces. Unsurprisingly, traders in public markets dedicated to the sale of companion animals have protested the new law, calling for it to be repealed.
In addition, the new reform obliges municipalities to allocate resources to the sterilisation of street animals. Mayors must also create an administrative unit responsible for dealing with matters related to the welfare and protection of animals. According to INEGI data, there are about 1.2 million dogs in Mexico City and their number is growing by approximately 20% every year.
Another reform that was also approved in the city is to establish that the expenses generated by the custody of sheltered animals are covered by those responsible for acts of abuse. Before this amendment, the people, authorities, and associations that received the animals had to cover the costs of their care, such as medical care, food, and accommodation, but there was no legal means by which the abusers covered the costs.