Thousands of people gathered Sunday in San José for the 7th National March Against Animal Abuse to demand an animal welfare reform law that President Luis Guillermo Solís has long promised to prioritize.
Costa Rican Vice President Ana Helena Chacón participated in Sunday’s march.
“It’s great to see this march happening for the seventh year in a row with more and more people participating,” she said. “This is a message from the citizens urging lawmakers to pass the animal welfare law.”
The animal welfare reform bill, law 7451, has been stuck in the Legislative Assembly because of opposition from interest groups and some lawmakers, who say the punishments for animal abuse contemplated in the bill are exaggerated. Currently, Citizen Action Party lawmakers are working on some changes to the law in hopes of nudging it toward approval.
The march started at San José’s central park and ended at the Plaza de la Democracia, where participants enjoyed music and browsed booths manned by organizations and vendors — including one selling ice cream for dogs.
Silvian Hogg, spokeswoman for the Association of Animal Wellbeing and Protection (ABAA) told The Tico Times that the march has help create awareness and change people’s attitude toward animals.