The Seedlings of Animal Protection in Mexico: The Interplay of Regulation and Social Change

Norma Contreras Hernandez

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Whether we, as humans, can recognize (or even care about) animal suffering or not, it is obvious that millions of animals are directly affected due to the relationship with the human species in many aspects of our daily lives; whether to feed, clothe, entertain, heal, aid, protect us or accompany us in our homes.

Our close relationship should create not only empathy towards the ‘other’ beings but should also lead governments and legislatures to create an effective legal and regulatory framework to promote adequate human-animal interactions for the benefit of both.

The animal rights movement now has many fronts and concerns. While there are animal rights studies in a wide range of areas, there is a dearth of those concerning public policies. This is especially true in the more developing countries. This gap provides an opportunity to develop research on animal protection public policies in regions such as Latin America, where Mexico is located, the country on which this study concentrates. Mexico is ranked at the third place of animal mistreatment and the first in stray dog population in the region.

Animal mistreatment is openly frowned upon by many, but what constitutes mistreatment and where the boundary lies, is not always clear and is still evolving. Its development is as a result of the growing awareness of the needs of animals. It is also as a result of the awareness of the social change regarding behavior towards animals. These have both domestic and global perspectives regarding the development of the normative statutes that can further shape rules and legislation. This study looks at the development and use of such regulations at the local level, where the context of local awareness is clearer than at a national or global level.

This dissertation analyzes in-depth the development of local policy processes of regulations and its actors that seek to improve animal welfare and protection in Mexico. It aims to identify the factors that led to successful, less successful and unsuccessful outcomes and its effects on social change.

It is my hope that the research for this thesis aids not only to greater understanding that can further the ‘animal cause’ in Mexico, but also that it provides guidelines and lessons that can be used to study similar processes in other developing countries and in other parallel scopes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Bressers, Hans T.A., Supervisor
  • Daskalova, Victoria I., Co-Supervisor
Award date7 Jul 2022
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5403-9
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5403-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2022


  • Animals


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