NUMEROUS popular pets have been banned in Spain under a new Animal Welfare Law which aims to protect native flora and fauna.
Since 2013, the Council of Ministers have continuously updated the Spanish Catalogue of Invasive Alien Species to determine those animals that are not native to Spain and consequently considered invasive— particularly if abandoned—representing a danger to the ecosystem.
Up until recently the prohibited pets included: raccoons, Argentine parrots, lovebirds, Vietnamese pigs, peninsular tortoises, hedgehogs and coatis, among other animals.
Now, the new Animal Welfare Law, which is due to come into force shortly, expands the list of prohibited pets to include quite a few furry friends that, for generations, have been common family additions.
The list has been significantly expanded to include the following:
-Birds originating from other countries.
Once the law comes into force, the government will then have 48 months to approve a list of permitted pets.
Disparity of criteria in Europe
Under the EU treaties, animals are recognised as sentient beings, however, there is unanimity as to what should be understood as a pet or not.
For instance, in Belgium, where an Animal Welfare Act has also just been passed, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, deer, guinea pigs or squirrels are considered permitted pets.
In the Netherlands, which has had a similar law since 2015, the list of permitted species is reduced to 30, including several types of rodents, as well as rabbits and ferrets, llamas or wild boars.
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