LAW 67

May 31, 1973

En Español

Section 1651. Definitions.
In this chapter, unless otherwise specified in the text:

(a)    Animal means any equine, bovine animals, sheep, goat, swine, dog, cat or any other domestic animal or bird of any animal in captivity under the control of any person;
(b)   Secretary means Secretary of Justice;
(c)    Owner in relation to an animal, includes any person having possession, charge, custody or control of that animal;
(d)   Police Officer includes a member of any force established under any act to carry out police functions, duties or powers;
(e)    Veterinarian means any person duly authorized to practice veterinary medicine.

History: This Act shall be known as the Animal Protection Act, sections 1 to 14 Act 10 of May 1904 are hereby repealed.

Section 1652. Acts of cruelty generally.

It shall be illegal that any person

1. (a) overloads, overworks, beats, kicks, abuses, tortures or cruelly harms any animal; or

(b) confines, ties, chains any animal unnecessarily or under such conditions or in such manner or position that causes unnecessary suffering to that animal or in any place that is not properly ventilated, lighted, protected or having not enough space or protection from heat or coldness or weather inclemencies, or
(c) unnecessarily deprives that animal of food or water or provides with too little; or
(d) exposes any poison or any poisoned liquid or combustible matter or infectious agent or without taking the necessary precautions to prevent the latter from causing damage; or
(e) being the owner of any animal, keeps the same, deliberately or negligently in dirty or parasitic conditions or allows it to become infected with external parasites or does not provide medical or veterinary treatment if needed by the animal; or
(f) uses any equipment or an animal or any vehicle causing or that may cause harm to the animal or any equipment or vehicle loaded in such manner that it may cause harm or unnecessary suffering to such animal; or
(g) employs to drive, conduct, draw, or ride an animal that is sick or hurt or in such a physical condition that it is unfit to do such work; pr
(h) sets any trap or any device with the purpose of catching or destroying any animal that need not be caught or destroyed to protect the property or to prevent sickness; or
(i) having set such traps or devices, does not check them personally daily, and does not clean them of animals; or
(j) except under the authority of a permit issued by the Department of Transportation and Public Works, sells any trap or device employed for catching an animal (other than a rodent) to a person who is not a bona fide farmer; or
(k) transports or carries such animals
(1) under such conditions or in such manner or position that causes the animal unnecessary suffering; or
(2) in conditions that do not provide adequate ventilation, light or shelter or in which the animal is excessively exposed to heat, cold, weather inclemencies, sun, rain or dust; or without taking proper precautions so that such animal has enough food, water or rest; or
(l) without reasonable cause, administers any poison or poisonous substance to any animal or causes injury to the latter; or
(m) being the owner of such animal, deliberately or without reasonable cause abandons it, whether permanently or not, in circumstances that may cause unnecessary suffering to the animal; or
(n) causes, provides or assists in the commission or omission of any of the aforementioned acts; or being the owner of such animal, allows the commission or omission of any of the acts hereinbefore mentioned; or
(o) voluntarily or without reason or negligently, does or forbears to do any act or gives rise to or attempts that there is done or forborne any act, cause any unnecessary suffering to any animal; or
(p) slaughters or allows the slaughter of any animal without being previously unconscious; or
(q) provokes ferocity in a dog by using live animals; or
(r) tears away or mutilates parts from any living animal; or
(s) performs any painful operation on an animal in a nonprofessional way; or
(t) limits the liberty to move of any animal or keeps animals in very small or narrow cages; or
(u) employs an animal for training in pictures, exhibitions o similar purposes, even though it may cause harm or pain to the health of that animal; or
(v) catches birds with nets or poisonous substances; or
(x) catches or kills songbirds or any other useful or decorative bird. (Note: no w exists in this section)

2. For the purpose of this chapter, the owner of any animal shall be considered as if he has permitted or attempted the commission or omission of any act related to that animal, if by exercising reasonable care and supervision regarding said animal, the commission or omission of said act could have been prevented.
Section 1653. Persons convicted, penalties.
When a person is convicted of an offense related to any animal under the terms of this chapter, the court in addition to finding him guilty and imposing any penalty may:
(a) order that the animal be slaughtered if in the judgment of the court it is cruel to keep said animal alive;
(b) order that the convicted person be deprived or possessing such animal;
(c) prescribe any order related to such animal, which issuance is deemed pertinent to comply with any of the preceding paragraphs.
Section 1654. Destruction of animals, expenses.
(1) At any time in which a police officer is of the opinion that any animal is so sick or severely beaten or in such a physical condition that it should be slaughtered, if the owner is not present or refuses to give his consent to it, he should immediately call a veterinarian, who shall examine said animal and certify that if the animal were kept alive it would be suffering continuously, and having certified such condition he shall proceed with its slaughtering.
(2) Any expense there incurred by any police officer or veterinarian to carry out what is stated in the above subsection may be recovered from the owner of the animal through court and a civil action;
(3) Proving that the animal was severely hurt or sick or in such physical condition that it would have been cruel to keep it alive shall constitute a defense for any action brought against any person for the slaughtering of an animal.
Section 1655. Experiments with live animals.
The following provisions shall be applicable to experiments with living animals:
(1) Experiments shall be limited to cases that are considered essential for scientific research purposes by the director of the laboratory where the experiment is to be performed.
(2) Experiments for educational purpose shall be permitted in cases where the use of animals is necessary for didactical purposes even when there are other educational means such as photographs, illustrations, motion pictures, models, etc.
(3) Such experiments shall be carried out in research institutions, duly approved and under the direction and supervision of scientifically trained persons.
(4) Prior to any experiment, the animal shall be fully anesthetized, whether with general or local anesthesia.
(5)(a) If the experiment bears serious corporal or permanent damage to the animal, it should be humanely slaughtered as soon as the purpose of the research permits it.
(b) If the animal does not die or remains in the aforementioned conditions that it has to be slaughtered as a result of the experiment, it should be humanely treated until it is returned to the place it came from or to the animal shelter.

Section 1656. Records of experiments: animal depositories, expenses.
A record should be kept of each experiment, except those carried out for didactical purposes.
(a) Any person in charge of an animal depository shall be authorized to recover from the owner of any animal so deposited, any reasonable expense incurred to provide veterinary attention to such animals.
Section 1657. Subpoenas
Any court trying any person for an alleged violation of this chapter may issue a subpoena to the owner of the animal so that he produces the animal at a specific site and place specified in the summons for inspection by the court.

1.Any person who without a reasonable excuse does not comply with the summons issued, according to the terms of subsection (1), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to the punishments established in this chapter.

Section 1658. Regulations.
The Secretary of Health and/or the Secretary of Agriculture may establish regulations related to:
(a) the method and manner to transfer and accommodate animals, either for transportation or in a stationary way;
(b) Any other reasonable requirement necessary to prevent cruelty or suffering of an animal;
(c) The depositing, obtaining of custody or confining of any animal because of its condition, and the recovery of any expense there incurred from the owner of each animal and any necessary matter to put in effect and carry out the ends and purposes of this chapter.
Section 1659. Penalties.
Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction there of shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $300 dollars, or by imprisonment in jail for a term of not more than six months, or both penalties in the discretion of the court.
(NOTE: Law 67 was amended on August 2002. A new law was created, Law 304 that that amends Law 67 and raises the penalty up to $5000.00)

Click Here for Law 304