Maria Lopes of International Movement Against Bullfights reported that the Congress of Panama recently passed a law against cruelty to animals, banning also bull and dog fighting, but excluding cockfights.

Also banned are animal races, except for horse races, which bring in thousands of dollars.

Furthermore, circuses could be suspended if they act cruelly towards the animals.

The original article – in Spanish – can be read here:

Here is the latest update on this news:


On April 11, President Ricardo Martinelli imposed a partial veto on Law 308, but this does not affect the proposed ban on bullfighting and dogfighting.

He suggested that the title of the law should be changed from ‘protection for  domestic animals’ to ‘protection for companion animals’ and also amended two of the articles of the bill.

‘A companion animal’ is defined as ‘a domestic animal not forced to work nor used as food, but kept as company or for the pleasure of the owners.’

Other modifications are:

Article 6:

“Experiments with animals can only take place when the results cannot be obtained by other means and are necessary for the control, prevention,
diagnosis or treatment of diseases which affect humans or other animals, as well as for the advancement of basic scientific knowledge.”

“In the case of experiments on domestic animals, they will only be allowed in accredited universities performed by appropriate persons.”

Article 16:

This article clarified some confusion over sanctions and penalties to be exacted in the case of ill treatment of animals.

Víctor Juliao, sponsor of the bill, is pleased that Martinelli approved the most difficult points, bullfighting both in the Spanish and Portuguese styles, and regulation of circuses in Panama.

He said: “We are proud to set an example at the international level”.

For the Animals.

Maria Lopes
(Coordinator) International Movement Against Bullfights.