The University of Costa Rica (UCR) asked legislators to improve the definition of “animal” in the Animal Welfare Act, challenged by the Constitutional Court twice.
The current text, approved on November 21st, defines animal as any non-human mammal, amphibian, bird, reptile, fish or octopi able to feel pain.”
However, the Court believes that the wording violates the principles of minimal intervention, reasonability and constitutional proportionality, according to the results of a query raised by a group of legislators.
Therefore, UCR experts recommended congressmen to define “animal” as any domestic specimen, domesticated pets of any species with or without known owner and those used in public or private shows.
This is stated in a letter sent on February 6th to legislator Carlos Arguedas, from the National Liberation Party (PLN), president of the Constitutional Consultation Commission of the Legislative Assembly.
The response of the Court is not binding on the Legislative Assembly because it was just a query; but if the text is approved on second reading with the current wording, this could be used to appeal the bill on the grounds of unconstitutionality.