Spain's New Animal Welfare Act

Spain's New Animal Welfare Act - March 2023 The new Animal Welfare Law has already been approved by the Senate and now only needs final ratification by Congress and publication in the B.O.E.

These are the infractions and sanctions provided for in the new regulations, with up to 18 months in prison.

Fines will range from 500 to 10,000€ for minor infractions and 10,001 to 50,000€ for serious and from 50,001 to 200,000€ for very serious ones.

Actions involving an injury or death of an animal may be punished with prison sentences, ranging from 3 to 12 months if the animal does not die and from 6 to 18 months if it does.  Actions involving an injury or death of an animal may be punished with prison sentences, ranging from 3 to 12 months if the animal does not die, and from 6 to 18 months if it dies.

Minor and serious infringements

Here is a list of the infractions provided for in the new law.

They will be minor infractions (from 500 to 10,000 euros fine):

  • Allowing animals to roam public spaces, without face-to-face supervision from their caregiver, and leaving them on a leash without supervision.
  • Do not take out civil liability insurance for damages to third parties.
  • Do not sterilize animals that have uncontrolled access to other animals: the clearest example is that domestic cats that are allowed to go outside must be sterilized.
  • Leaving animals in conditions that could pose a danger to their health, such as inside closed vehicles, or exposed to dangerous weather conditions. It will also be an offence to leave them alone at home without supervision, for more than 24 hours in the case of dogs and more than 3 days in the case of cats.

Spain's Animal Welfare Act

Serious infractions, even if they do not involve physical harm to the animal:

  • Not identify animals with a microchip.
  • Use animals as an advertising claim without authorization, as well as use of them as a prize in contests, raffles or promotions.
  • Raising and trading in non-native wild animals.
  • Failure to report the loss or theft of an animal within a maximum period of 48 hours (after this time it will be considered abandonment).

Behaviour harmful to animals

Behaviour that cause harm or discomfort to animals will in all cases be a serious or very serious infraction.

The following will be considered serious infringements (from 10,001 to 50,000 euros):

  • Use of aggressive methods in animal education.
  • Unauthorized mutilation or body modification.
  • Abandonment of animals, including not picking them up from residences, shelters or veterinary centers.
  • Theft or misappropriation of animals.
  • Administration of substances not prescribed by a veterinarian that harm the health of an animal or alter its behaviour.
  • Shipment of live animals, except in cases provided for by law.
  • Removal or relocation of community cats in situations other than those provided for by law.
  • Feed animals offal from animals that have not passed health controls.
  • Permanently keep dogs or cats in confined spaces, whether outdoor (such as balconies) or indoor (such as basements).

The following will be considered very serious infringements (50,001 to 200,000 euros):

  • Euthanasia of animals with inadequate means or by unqualified personnel.
  • Training and use of animals for fighting.
  • The use of pets for human consumption.
  • Kill community cats outside of cases authorized by law.
  • Breeding and sale of animals by unauthorized persons (a license will be required).
  • Sale of dogs, cats and ferrets in pet stores.
  • Use of animals in cultural and festive activities, such as fairground carousels and circus shows.

Spain's Animal Welfare Act

The act more than one serious infringement within three years will be considered as a very serious infringement.

Keep in mind that, in addition, actions involving an injury or death of an animal may be punished with prison sentences, ranging from 3 to 12 months if the animal does not die, and from 6 to 18 months if it dies.

Please note the above has been translated from Spanish to English, so some detail may be slightly lost in translation, read the original article here.

Keep up to date with the lates local news here.

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