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Costa Rican municipalities will be able to provide animal welfare services

This June 22, in the official newspaper La Gaceta, Law No. 10.141 called Municipal Service for the Care of Pets was published.

This law results from a joint effort between the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL), former legislators such as former congressman Jorge Fonseca and organizations for inclusive development of animals and people.

Thanks to this initiative, municipalities can provide animal welfare services through campaigns, vaccinations, and educational programs accessible to the community.

“It is important for SENASA that more local governments become involved in this work because their support is essential to ensure the welfare of companion animals; to the extent that we can have healthy animals, to that same extent, we will have healthy human beings, by the global concept of One Health,” expressed German Rojas, Director General of SENASA.

As part of the services, they will be able to take care of the problems derived from the companion animal population in their communities, allocating part of their budget to control overpopulation and prevent the spread of zoonoses for the direct benefit of the public health.

Also, they can provide a mechanism to universalize access to spay/neuter and rabies vaccination services and achieve a healthier canton.

Municipalities must give essential services of deworming and vaccination against diseases specific to each pet at social interest rates so that socially disadvantaged owners can comply with the minimum schemes of preventive medicine established (SENASA).

Promoting a culture of respect and responsibility for the ownership of companion animals and carrying out educational campaigns in the communities are also part of the responsibilities.

“From the UNGL, we are working with SENASA, which is the regulatory body in this area, as well as with the College of Veterinarians, Veterinarians of Costa Rica, and a group of different NGOs in this area to present a prototype regulation for local governments and provide support in the implementation of this law,” said Karen Porras Arguedas, Executive Director of the UNGL.

Javier Zamora Estrada, president of the College of Veterinarians of Costa Rica, reminded the general public of the importance of seeking professional veterinarians.

“It is necessary to reaffirm and remember that all veterinary medical procedures must be performed by licensed professionals in the application of the new law; they are subject to the control of the Association,” said Dr. Javier Zamora Estrada.

The institutions are currently drafting the regulations that must comply with the public policies and guidelines established by SENASA in the areas of veterinary public health, animal health, and animal welfare, per the duties granted to it by Law 8495.

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