ANIMALS on the Costa Blanca will get some of the best legal protection in Spain thanks to a new law.

Abusers could be fined up to €45,000 under the regional rules, which are being updated for the first time since 1994.

The Valencian Community measures aim to stop pet abandonment and abuse as well imposing standards on how an animal should be looked after.

The draft version of the law, which says that ‘animals have feelings’, has been approved by the Valencian parliament.

Owners will have to ensure that their pets are well looked-after in regard to health, food and exercise, as the law talks about ‘responsible ownership’.

People who interact with animals as part of their work will have to get compulsory training.

Animal welfare volunteer, Carol McManus, told The Olive Press:

“Anything that promotes the treatment of dogs and cats is good, but we need ways of stopping abuse before it happens.”

The new law also gives individual councils the flexibility to decide how many pets can be kept in a home, and breeders could also be charged a local tax.

That money would help pay for municipalities to pick up strays and provide appropriate vet care until they are taken to a shelter.

All animal slaughter is banned by the law except in a few cases where health and safety is concerned.

A major part of the new legislation includes the current two-year-old law over animal exploitation.

For example, no animals can be displayed in pet shops or used in circuses in the Valencian Community.

The new law though makes no mention of animals used in bullfighting.

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