Animal welfare is a societally relevant issue that is globally attracting increased attention. This is in addition to the importance placed on welfare for the animals themselves. However, the content and application of laws protecting animals’ welfare vary across countries. In Latin America, there are a range of common practices or activities involving certain animal species, many of which are legal, that can impair an animal’s quality of life. These include the performance of aesthetic surgical procedures; bull-, cock-, and dog fighting; and the existence of circuses that exhibit animals. The extent and impact of these practices being dependent on the socioeconomic, cultural, territorial, and regulatory landscape of each country. Particularly, Ibero-American regions face welfare challenges that might be influenced by traditions and relevant legal gaps. The objective of this article is to review controversial practices carried out in companion and entertainment animals in Latin America, with a focus on legal aspects, as well as the current efforts being made to address and incorporate global welfare standards into domestic and wild animal practice and regulation.
- companion animals