21 Apr, 2021 @ 18:31
1 min read

Pets in Spain move step closer to ‘human status’ with breakthrough animal welfare law

kittens spain animal rights
kittens spain animal rights

UNDER a new proposal passed by Spain’s parliament on Wednesday, domestic animals will be considered ‘living beings’ instead of mere objects.

Spain’s congress voted to consider a change in the civil code that will change the status of pets, offering them more legal protection.

It means that dogs and cats will be considered in the same way as children during custody battles in divorce hearings.

Judges will also be able to award shared custody of pets and determine who pays their share of vet bills and food of the animal.

The new law will also make mistreatment of pets a crime on a par with someone abusing another human.

kittens spain animal rights

It also outlines a duty of care that means if someone finds an abandoned pet, they must attempt to locate the owner or inform the authorities in the same way as they must if they found a lost child.

The pet law change was introduced by the Socialists and the far-left Unidas Podemos party and was backed by all other parties, except the far-right Vox party but still needs to be ratified by parliament to be brought into effect.

Spain’s Animal Rights Party Pacma urged lawmakers to push through with the legislation and not let it slide. 

“The important thing is that this new proposal does not fall into oblivion and is not lost in the parliamentary procedures, which could take up to two years,” the group warned in a tweet.

“We have already lost four years since this was counted as a win in 2017, and we are back at the beginning.”


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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