Enforce illegal pet trade laws in Costa Rica

Enforce illegal pet trade laws in Costa Rica

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Rescue Center Costa Rica started this petition to MINAE and

VANESSA LIZANO, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF RESCUE CENTER COSTA RICA, PLEADS WITH THE MINAE (The Minister for the Environment and Energy), SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas), and the COSTA RICAN GOVERNMENT TO WORK HARDER TO ENFORCE THE ILLEGAL PET TRADE

While Costa Rica has made progress in its animal welfare legislation, significant gaps and lack of action are allowing the abuse of vulnerable animals.

A recent example of the maltreatment animals experience is of a spider monkey named Polly, which was brought to Vanessa from another organization that was unable to care for her any longer. The spider monkey was a victim of the illegal pet trade and was living in a home where the owner taught her and encouraged her to smoke cigarettes. Tragically, Polly’s rescuers did not free her in time to save her life. She died in physical anguish at Rescue Center Costa Rica from lung cancer, pneumonia, and other breathing complications. And why do animals suffer despite legislation to protect them from harm? The current laws to prevent the exploitation of wildlife are not strong enough and not enforced to save animals like Polly, who are red-listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as endangered.

The excuse of traditional cultural traditions is often used as a loophole that makes enforcing the laws problematic and rescuing animals difficult. Laws that do exist to protect and save animals from harm, including #40548 – MINAE, are sporadically enforced if at all by the government officials at the MINAE and SINAC.

Rescue Center Costa Rica has been open with permits for over a year and has received little, under 10 animals, from the MINAE even though they are well-financed, well-staffed, and ready to accept as many animals as possible. Instead, they have accepted close to 100 animals from other organizations who were in financial jeopardy as a result of the pandemic. There have even been times when Rescue Center Costa Rica has called the MINEA with reports of animals being housed illegally only to have the calls unanswered or unresolved because of the Monday to Friday schedule of the employees. If the MINAE is not ready to do their job then new laws should be enacted to allow Rescue Center Costa Rica to do it themselves.  

The government must do better for animals with new stronger protection laws and enforcing the laws that are now part of wildlife preservation. The Costa Rican environment and the lives of the nation’s animals depend on the government making good on its promises for animal well-being. Costa Rica loves to portray itself as wildlife-friendly and receive the accolades that come along with it but the reality of the situation is they are failing badly.

At Rescue Center Costa Rica, we are here to speak for the animals and to hold the government accountable. New laws are needed, the government agencies need to work harder to enforce the laws and the red tape that exists needs to be cut so that private non-profit organizations like Rescue Center Costa Rica can successfully accomplish their mission.

About Rescue Center Costa Rica (www.rescuecenter.com): Located in beautiful La Guacima, Alajuela, Costa Rica, the Rescue Center is the perfect destination for volunteers and interns from around the world. People who feel their hard work and effort can make a difference in the lives of many of the country’s injured indigenous wildlife support the Rescue Center’s efforts for animal rehabilitation. The Rescue Center is not a zoo although many of the animals are un-releasable. The RC believes in the simple philosophy of rescue, rehabilitation, and release. 

For an interview request about this PR please email Vanessa Lizano direct at info@rescuecenter.com or the contact us page at https://www.rescuecenter.com/contact/

The legal representative, Maria Jose Arias, for Rescue Center Costa Rica can be contacted directly at legal@rescuecenter.com

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!