In recent weeks many manifestations in favor of animal rights have been made through the internet and media, with regard to the Gaucho’s(1) infamous law that authorizes the sacrifice of animals in certain Afro-Brazilian cults.
Sensitive humans that have a strong opinion get very upset about this subject, as the senseless and unnecessary slaughter of defenseless and innocent animals is a hideous crime against nature. The whole of humanity is allowed to kill animals for its survival in physical matter, as long as it does not cause undue suffering to other creatures that equally have rights to exist.
Amongst the many manifestations against the sanction of this law, here are some that standout:
The Periodical “A RAZÃO”(2), published in Santa Maria, RS, states the following declaration:
“The ‘Aliança de Umbanda’(3) (AUM), an Afro-Brazilian organization, through its President Moisés Tavares Barreto, has shown its solidarity to the ‘Clube Amigos Dos Animais de Santa Maria’(4), by manifesting its repudiation to the amendment created to the State Code of Protection to Animals by the state deputy, Edson Portilho, that ‘allows the sacrifice of animals for religious-cult practices’. Thus, the AUM is against the sacrifice of animals on any instance. Such is the truth that the Centers, in order to join the AUM, have foreseen as one of their requirements in its code of ethics the non practice of animal sacrifice in its rituals.”
On the internet site S.O.S Animal, in the section about legislation, in the article titled “Direito dos Animais”(5), by Doctor Edna Cardozo, an excellent analysis on the Fauna protection laws is presented, with a historic-chronological description concerning animals in diverse races. In it, the author writes brilliantly: “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose moment has arrived. We are facing an unyielding truth: Animal rights are the duty of all men. The law must guarantee the supremacy of the right to life and the free development of all the other species as a requirement of the law and for our development. All the economic and development decisions must be submitted to the right to life.”
On the internet site Rancho dos Gnomos(6), there is an article by Marcos Sosa about this irrational slaughter, in which the author declares: “the life forms need to be valued, to be respected, and protected; the relationship of man with the environment needs to pass through the sieve of a more refined rethought.”
The magazine Época, in its 08/16/04 publication, in the article “The Crossroads of the Gauchos” on this gaucho law, presents the results of the ClicRBS survey on the subject, whose final result was that 89% of those interviewed were horrified with the law. The President of the Gaucho Movement of Animal Rights, Mrs. Maria Nunes Luiza, declares in the publication, “We are not alive three thousand years ago in an African tribe”, and the Director of Fauna of IBAMA(7), Mr. Rômulo Mello, also opinions: “From the environmental standpoint, I view the sacrifices as ill-treatment towards animals”.
On the internet site of SUIPA(8), there are two photos of animal sacrifice ceremonies, which leave no doubt as to the cruelty and ill treatment suffered by the photographed animals. With respect to those that esteem life and animals, these photographs are not shown here. They bring shame to mankind.
The Brazilian Constitution of 1988, presently in vigor and the most supreme law of the country to which all other laws are hierarchically submitted, states in respect to animals:
Art. 225 - All have the right to an ecologically balanced environment, a public asset of the people and essential to the quality of life, imposing on the State and the collective duty of the people a need to defend it and preserve it for the present and future generations.
§ 1º. It is a duty of the State to assure the right and effectiveness of this law… VII - to protect the fauna and the flora, it is legally forbidden, the practice that puts at risk their ecological function or provokes the extinction of the species or submits animals to cruelty.
The Federal Law Nº 5,197, of January 03, 1967 decrees:
Art. 1 - Animals of any species, in any phase of their development and that live naturally out of captivity, constituting the wild fauna, as well as in their nests, natural shelters and breeding grounds, are properties of the State, forbidding their utilization, persecution, destruction, hunting or capture.
Who is going to guarantee that these animals cited in Law 5197 will not be barbarously sacrificed?
The Federal Law Nº 9,605, of February 12, 1998, states:
Art. 32 - To practice an act of abuse, bad-treatment, to wound or to mutilate wild, domestic or domesticated animals, native or exotic: Penalty - detention, of three months to one year, and fines.
§ 1º. Incurs onto those the same penalties that carry out painful experimental tests on live animals, even if the studies are destined for didactic or scientific ends, when alternative resources exist.
§ 2º. The penalty is increased by one sixth to one third, if the death of the animal takes place.
These laws are clear and unequivocal when it deals with cruelty and ill treatment to animals and they are hierarchically, much higher than the state law that permits the sacrifice of animals on the behalf of certain Afro-Brazilian cults.
To be politically correct within the XXI century, it is still necessary that protection be given to animals, because we should demonstrate a high character of human evolution and civilization, so that we are not placed far away from this concept.
The newspaper “Correio do Povo”, of Porto Alegre, in its 07/28/04 publication, published that city councilman Beto Moesch and members of the ONGS(9) had congregated with the Attorney General, Mr. Roberto Bandeira Pereira, to debate the constitutionality of this law from Rio Grande do Sul. The Public Prosecution Ministry is analyzing its legality.
The XXI century is a special time where very significant changes will take place on Earth, leading worthy humans to a higher understanding about our existence and its purpose. Man has to bequeath to his posterity a clean and worthy environment, collaborating with mother nature so that the consequences of his acts are only beneficial to the life of all the species.
With everything that was cited here, a union of environmentalists, ecologists, and common sensed people is necessary, in short, those that understand the true consequences of this absurd law, so that, in one voice and with the worthy spirit of Man, the country is shown that the right to live is the most precious thing the living species have here on Earth. It is imperious that Brazil, with its national tradition where people of all the races and all religions coexist, presents a worthy consideration with the other species that integrate within the environment of this generous land, and refuse the existence of this incomprehensible and cruel law.
José Guimarães Duque Filho