Merida, Yucatan — In a move toward improved animal welfare, two new public veterinary hospitals were promised by 2021 by Mayor Renan Barrera Concha.
One will be at Parque Zoológico Centenario, the historic Centennial Zoo; the location of the second animal hospital is still undecided.
Both projects must be completed before the mayor’s current administration ends in two years.
Tuesday’s announcements was made before the Advisory Council for the Protection of Wildlife in the Municipality of Merida, comprised of animal activists, organizations that support animals, academics and state and municipal agencies.
The hospitals will be for both wild and domestic animals.
Urban growth has created a challenge for Yucatan’s wildlife, which have a right to live safely and with dignity, said Eugenia Correa Arce, Director of Sustainable Development.
For years, Merida been encouraging a culture of kindness toward animals, outlawing circus animal acts and, in at least one example, rescuing a work horse that was obviously abused. But stories of abuse still surface.
Parque Zoológico Centenario is more than a zoo. It is home to the Wildlife Conservation Management Unit, where animals that Profepa and other authorities confiscate from circuses, or from smugglers at the airport.
The city is under a “Merida 2050” agenda which, among other things, establishes the protection of the flora and fauna and a campaign to persuade the public to care for both.
“The participation of society is fundamental to the success of what we want to promote in terms of public policy,” said Barrera Concha.
City Council is coordinating with experts on a suitable location for the second veterinary hospital, which will have an administrative area, restrooms, a warehouse and a storage area for animal feed.