The first state animal protection law advances. The Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 already has a draft on the table in which it deploys a battery of “legal mechanisms” to promote welfare and prevent the abandonment of animals, “whose rights must be protected,” the text specifies. to which elDiario.es has had access. The blueprint, which is named Law of Protection and Rights of animalsIt is still at the expense of the reports of the other ministries, so it may change, but the intention of the department led by Ione Belarra is that it reaches the Council of Ministers next November.
Congress takes the first step in recognizing that companion animals are “sensitive beings” and not things
The main lines of the law have been presented this Wednesday in an act on the occasion of World Animal Day – it is October 4 -, in which the Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 has ensured that the norm establishes “something so basic in our country as the obligation to preserve animal welfare “. The text starts from a conception of animals as “sentient beings” and those who live with them “have the right to responsibly enjoy their company and the duty to protect them.” To do this, it limits the uses that can be made of them and under what conditions, and establishes a series of obligations and prohibitions whose non-compliance will carry fines ranging from 600 to 600,000 euros.
Among them, the sale in pet stores is restricted, and also “its exhibition to the public” for commercial purposes, with the intention of ending the usual image of dogs, cats or fish displayed in cubicles for purchase. Doing so will be considered a serious offense, with penalties of 3,001 to 30,000 euros. The same will be imposed on those who raise pets without authorization, since it plans to restrict it to authorized breeders. These must be registered in the National Registry of Breeders, which will depend on the General Directorate of Animal Rights and certify training.
The purpose, specifies the text, is that “it is done in a responsible and moderate way” and “to influence the paradox that exists between the recognition of being sensitive to the animal and its commercial objectification”. In addition, for companion animals, the obligation will be established that at least all members of the same species and of the same sex are sterilized if they have access to the outside or live with others, unless they are professional breeders. The keeping of wild animals in private homes will also be prohibited.
I preserve the circuses, but not the bulls
Breeding will be allowed only in the case of native animals; the draft prohibits it in the case of non-native savages, and also to trade with them, including in the case of zoos, unless it is in the framework of maintenance programs for threatened species. The objective, explained a few days ago the general director of animal rights, Segio G. Torres, is the “reconversion of these spaces” as centers for “reintroduction of native species.” In addition, wild animals in captivity must reside in “naturalized” environments, which “respect their needs” and those raised for hunting purposes will have to be individually identified.
It also wants to put a stop to circuses and prohibits the staging of wild animals, something to which more and more municipalities have been joining in recent years. They will not be able to participate in shows “that cause them anguish, pain or suffering”, however, nothing contained in the law will be applicable to bullfighting because they are “practical”, Torres justified, and prevent the approval of “a good law like this “can be” slowed down “. Where there may not be animals is in the still common fairground carousels or in the nativity scenes, parades or processions when they are “subject” during the event. For pilgrimages and holiday events, a regulation will determine what weight each animal can support and the periodicity with which they must stop to rest.
End cockfighting or pigeon shooting
The standard stipulates a battery of measures designed to protect and promote the best state of the animal, so those who live with them must abide by a series of obligations: they will have to keep them in “decent living conditions”, provide veterinary treatment, monitor them. and prevent their flight or treat them “with non-aggressive or non-violent methods.” In addition, all must be identified. According to data provided by the draft, it is estimated that approximately half of companion animals “are outside official control.”
The sacrifice of animals is prohibited, except for incurable disease, or for health or environmental reasons, and doing so in public will be sanctioned with fines that can reach 600,000 euros. The same will be imposed on those who train or use animals for confrontations, such as cockfights, which continue to take place with impunity in some communities. The same occurs with shows “in which they may be subject to unworthy treatment” such as shooting the pigeon, specifies the text, which is vetoed to homogenize its regulation throughout the country.
Neither can they be used “as an object of advertising claim, reward, prize, raffle or promotion” or leave the companion animals “without supervision” for three consecutive days; in the case of dogs, no more than 24 hours. Abandoning them, subjecting them to “excessive or inappropriate” work, or using them “for human consumption” is prohibited. If the animal is lost, it must be communicated within 48 hours and those who own a dog must take an accredited training course whose content will also be stipulated via regulations.
Pets may not “roam” through public spaces “without the face-to-face supervision” of the responsible person, while those who live abroad must use rooms appropriate to their size and needs and that protect them “from inclement weather. “. A regulation will develop the conditions of size, naturalization and environmental enrichment in which pets can be kept that live permanently in cages, aquariums or terrariums.
The text creates several organizations and statistics until now non-existent to control the protection of animals: the Territorial Commission and the State Council for Animal Protection, the Observatory against Animal Mistreatment or a state system of records will be launched. protected entities or breeding professionals, among other groups, are noted. A Positive List of Companion Animals will also be developed, with which to limit the species that can be traded.
The regulation obliges administrations to approve their respective territorial animal protection programs and to include evacuation mechanisms in emergency plans. In addition, each community and municipality with more than 5,000 inhabitants must have at least one comprehensive protection center, while it forces municipalities to take care of lost animals and, specifically, community cats, for which they will have to develop programs of “ethical management” of feline colonies, already common in some municipalities.