SPAIN’S public prosecution ministry has warned abandonment of adopted pets will carry fines.

The Fiscalía de Medio Ambiente warned in a letter to provincial prosecution offices the number of pets adopted since the start of the coronavirus lockdown has increased ‘significantly’.

Department director Antonio Vercher, who issued the letter, said the department was ‘unsure’ whether the adoptions constituted an ‘excuse for the new owners to get out the house’.

Vercher urged all regional prosecution offices to follow the situation as ‘once the state of alarm is over there will be abandonments of adopted animals’.

He warned that article 337 of Spain’s penal code will carry significant penalties.

The article reads: “He who abandons an animal in conditions that could put its live in danger will be castigated with a fine of between 3-6 months.

“Equally, the judge can put a prohibition for between three months to a year on work, occupation or commercialisation that involves animals.”

He urged regional authorities to alert local police forces to the warnings.

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