The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, sanctioned on Tuesday a law that toughens penalties for those who mistreat dogs or cats. The far-right leader resisted the measure but finally accepted pressure, among others, by his wife Michelle de Paula Firmo.
Several dogs were brought to the ceremony, including that of the Bolsonaro family, Nestoras well as a pit bull whose hind legs were cut off with a machete in July in a city in southeastern Brazil.
“I never had doubts as to whether or not I was going to sanction, even because I learned of the approval in Congress by the first lady,” Bolsonaro said, smiling and looking almost guiltily at his wife, present at the ceremony in which stamped his signature on the law with his dog in his arms, although the dog did not seem to feel very comfortable.
“This fills a gap on the mistreatment of animals, an unspeakable thing that other animals that believe they are rational do,” declared the ruler.
Pressure by Michelle Bolsonaro
Brazilian legislation establishes penalties of between three months and one year in prison for the mistreatment of animals, but this new text raises the punishment to a maximum of five years, although only when the aggressions are suffered by dogs or cats. In addition, it prohibits the possession of animals to convicted persons.
Bolsonaro initially hinted that he would veto the law since he considered that the penalties of up to five years in prison for those who mistreat these animals were exaggerated. “Whoever abandons a newborn has a sentence of six months to three years. So, how who mistreats a dog or a cat is going to spend up to five years in jail, “he said about twenty days ago.