government passes animal protection bill

Spain’s leftist government on Friday passed a bill to tackle the abuse, abandonment and killing of animals, as well as a reform of the Penal Code that will establish penalties of up to two years in prison. prison for certain offences.

A very popular show in Spain, but criticized for its killings by defenders of the animal cause, bullfighting, protected and governed by a separate law, is not affected by this text. The reform, which will have to be adopted by Parliament to enter into force, responds to “an important social demand“, affirmed the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, who spoke at a press conference after the Council of Ministers. She explained that the text was aimed at the “three great plaguesthat affect animals in Spain, namely mistreatment, abandonment and killing.

A fight against animal abandonment

The reform of the Penal Code which accompanies this bill provides for the introduction of penalties for mistreatment which could go up to 18 months in prison if the condition of the animal requires veterinary care and 24 months in the event of death, has clarified Ione Belarra. The goal, she said, is to end “impunitycurrently enjoyed by those guilty of cruelty to animals. Ione Belarra, a member of the small radical left-wing Podemos party, a ruling partner of the Socialists, also drew a link between perpetrators of animal cruelty and those guilty of gender-based violence.

The fight against gender-based violence is one of the priorities of the government of Pedro Sánchez and Spain is at the forefront in Europe in this area. The Minister notably affirmed that some men sometimes used animals as a means of pressure “to cause even more suffering to victims of sexist violence» and indicated that it would henceforth be «an aggravating circumstance“. To fight against the abandonment of animals, identification and vaccination will be made compulsory and only professional breeding will be authorized.

Ione Belarra pointed out that 300,000 animals are abandoned each year in Spain, an average of more than 800 per day. Finally, the new law will aim to “ban pet sacrifices“. She further stated that the government wanted “gradually transform zoos and dolphinariums into rehabilitation centers for native species“. Since January 5, a law grants the right to joint custody – in the event of divorce or separation of the owners – for pets, now considered as “sentient beings» and no longer simple «things“. Several European countries have already modified their Civil Code to recognize the living and sensitive nature of animals.

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