Stray dogs killed in Punta Arenas. Image by UDDA

Stray dogs killed in Punta Arenas. Image by UDDA

Chile’s Bureau for Social and Environmental Responsibility in Pet Ownership approved Thursday an amendment to the Hunting Act that allows people to hunt ‘feral’ cats and dogs living in packs in areas at least 400 meters away from any town or city.

Senator Fulvio Rossi, member of the Health Commission, left the meeting together with animal rights activists right after the decree was approved saying it was ‘barbaric’.

“Extermination and killing is not the way and certainly not the solution to achieve adequate control of the dog population. It is precisely the antithesis of promoting responsible pet ownership. A decree allowing free pet game does not correspond to a solution, but rather a decision that was inappropriately determined by the finance committee of the House of Representatives,” stated Rossi.


Senator Fulvio Rossi (PS)

“These are issues that should be reviewed with responsibility and awareness. Our society must accept that animals

The Hunting Act will go into effect later this year and will allow the hunting of 22 species including deer, goats, foxes, rabbits, minks and now dogs and cats.deserve our respect and protection.

This new article in the Hunting Act that allows the ‘removal, custody and sacrifice’ of animals is going directly in the opposite direction and I believe it is a clear expression of the abuse and cruelty towards animals,” he said.

Dogs are considered by the Ministry of Agriculture as ‘harmful’ animals which ‘destroy the habitat’ and compete against native and endemic species. According to the new law, dogs and other species considered harmful ‘may be hunted or captured during any season, throughout all national territory and without a limit in the number or specimens.’

Latest figures show that around 4 million dogs are currently living in the streets in the country and could be killed under the new law.

Animal rights organizations argue that under the new law beloved pets that don’t have a collar or get lost could be legally killed. They instead recommend and volunteer to conduct a massive sterilization program that it has been proven works and would dramatically reduce the number of stray animals in the streets within a few years.

A national march against the Hunting Act Law will be held on several cities across the country on 4 February.

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