In San Cristóbal, an ordinance is approved that penalizes animal abuse and requires the sterilization of dogs and cats

The regulations prohibit the sale of pets on the island and releasing dogs and cats to roam the streets freely.

June 15, 2021 – 3:36 pm

With the approval of the ordinance, domestic animals must be sterilized and may not circulate without a leash. Photo: Courtesy

The Council of the Autonomous Decentralized Municipal Government of San Cristóbal approved an ordinance regulating responsible coexistence with urban wildlife animals.

Last Thursday and after a unanimous vote, the document establishing new rules of coexistence was approved. Mayor Henry Cobos, members of the Council, technical staff of the municipal GAD, members of civil society and representatives of organizations such as the Franz Weber Foundation participated in the event.

On the islands it is common to share the urban area with protected species, such as sea lions, marine iguanas, different types of birds and reptiles, so it was necessary to adjust the regulations to avoid impacts. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), dogs are one of the main threats to sea lions, while cats are hunters and threaten species such as lava lizards, marine iguanas, among others.

Among the measures that are implemented is to delimit the allowed areas for walking and that areas near boardwalks and squares will not be suitable for family animals; that is, that they will not be able to walk freely through the streets and must walk on a leash.

Family animals may not be kept tied up or locked up and tail and ear clipping for aesthetic purposes is prohibited.

It was established that sterilization will be mandatory, as well as the formal prohibition of the trade of animals, to avoid the increase of animal populations. Dogs and cats must have a chip registry, which was previously only require for dogs.

“The new ordinance is a great achievement for the conservation of endemic Galapagos species, but it is also a great achievement for family animals. Responsible coexistence transforms the vision of invasive species, transferring responsibility to those whom it really belongs: people. Through education and clear rules of coexistence, the community will play an active role in conserving its natural environment,” said Leonardo Anselmi, director of the Franz Weber Foundation for Southern Europe and Latin America.

The foundation interviewed 400 representatives of families residing on the island who live with animals, and 1,137 domestic and companion animals were identified (72% were cats and dogs). About 46% were not sterilized. (I)

Read the original coverage from El Universo at

Read additional coverage from Expreso at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s