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Photography: Defender Boards

Credit: Animal Defender Boards Project

The CES University, through its Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, is accompanying the constitution, formalization or activation of Animal Defense Boards in 30 municipalities of the department of Antioquia.

The participation of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics is headed by professors Leydy Escobar Márquez and Santiago Henao Villegas who, together with a technical team from the Government of Antioquia, will be visiting ten eastern municipalities over three months, 10 from southwest and 10 northeast.

Our purpose is to join technical, financial and administrative efforts for the formalization, constitution or activation of the Animal Defenders Boards in the municipalities of Antioquia. This through strategies from communication and education to review or design actions to protect animals in their territories " explained Leydy Escobar Márquez, project leader.

This project began to be executed in the week of September 26, 2020, where the municipalities of Nariño, Sonsón and Argelia, in the eastern part of the department, were visited.

The Animal Defenders Boards are public organizations made up of members of the administration and civil society, interested in promoting care and respect for animals through educational, communicative and cultural actions within the territories they operate.

Our tasks in the municipalities are to identify if there are constituted boards and how they are constituted (if they have legal personality and local administrative support). If there are, we check that there is an activity in meetings and strategies, or if they are only legally created or if they have not even been formed ”, added leader Escobar Márquez.

Based on this diagnosis, the work team intervenes in the municipality with legal advice to legally consolidate a meeting (if required), in addition to making a communication proposal for the meeting, a talk and a virtual training course for explain concepts around ethics, animal welfare and legislation related to the subject.

We have been surprised that in terms of legislation there are already consolidated groups. The main difficulties are associated with the activation and efficiency of the strategies they lead. In that instance, we enter and give them a hand to consolidate the work they already have in more effective awareness and communication processes, according to the needs of each municipality.”, Explained the teacher Santiago Henao Villegas, director of the project.

According to the teacher, in Antioquia there are 40% of Animal Defenders Boards consolidated, but only a smaller number have effective functions in the places where they were created.

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