Costa Rican municipalities will be able to provide animal welfare services:

This June 22, in the official newspaper La Gaceta, Law No. 10.141 titled Municipal Pet Care Service was published.

This law is the result of a joint effort between the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL), former lawmakers such as former Congressman Jorge Fonseca and development organizations inclusive of animals and people.

Through 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 get 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 the same extent we will have healthy human beings, according to the overall concept of One Health,” said German Rojas, Director General of SENASA.

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

Additionally, they can provide a mechanism to universalize access to sterilization and rabies vaccination services and achieve a healthier township.

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

Promoting a culture of respect and responsibility for pet ownership and conducting education campaigns in 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 the College of Veterinarians, Costa Rican veterinarians, and a group of different NGOs in this area to present a prototype regulations for local governments and provide support in the implementation of this law,” said UNGL Executive Director Karen Porras Arguedas.

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 recall that all veterinary medical acts must be carried out by approved professionals in 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, in accordance with the obligations conferred on it by Law 8495 .

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