Animal Welfare Law: Insurance for dogs will be mandatory

The preliminary draft of the Animal Welfare Law has just been approved by the Government and thus begins its parliamentary process prior to its future entry into force. This Law considers animals “sentient beings” which means recognizing their rights, committing to responsible ownership, prohibiting all those commercial and leisure activities contrary to animal welfare and punishing behaviors of abuse and neglect.

In its last Council of Ministers held last Monday, the Government approved the Preliminary draft of the Law on Protection, Rights and Animal Welfarea pioneering legal framework for the rights of animals and that from now on it begins its parliamentary process in the Congress of Deputies with the aim of promoting responsible ownership and ending, among other behaviors, abuse and abandonment.

In this sense, and through a future reform of the Penal Code, this regulation foresees toughening the penalties for animal abuse, while will prohibit the use of animals in activities and shows in which they may suffer harm, death or cruel treatmentplacing special emphasis on activities such as cockfighting or pigeon shooting.

Once the future Animal Welfare Law comes into force the penalties for mistreatment may range between 24 and 36 months and the sacrifice of pets will be prohibited, except when euthanasia is necessary for health or veterinary reasons.

In the case of economic sanctions these can be up to 100,000 euros for exhibiting wild animals in shows and up to 600,000 euros for illegal cockfighting.

Mandatory insurance and course for tenure

The objective is to integrate the legal regime in terms of possession and responsible coexistence into a single standard of legal rank with animals.

Among the measures included in the new regulations is the obligation to take out civil liability insurance for damages to third parties that protects people responsible for dogs.

responsible ownership course for homeowners

In this way the set of regulations in force in the country, different depending on each autonomous region, would become part of a single uniform law at the national level Y compulsory.

As well established in the blueprint: “In the case of dog ownership and throughout the life of the animal, the owner must take out and maintain valid civil liability insurance for damages to third parties, which includes in its coverage the people responsible for the animal, for an amount of a sufficient amount to defray the possible expenses derived, which will be established by regulation.”.

In addition, the Animal Welfare Law also establishes that dog owners, regardless of their breed and characteristics, take a free course on responsible ownership. This course will be a prerequisite and its content must be developed according to regulations.

Animal Welfare and Protection Code.

Animals as sentient beings and not things

In Spain more than 300,000 animals are abandoned and for this reason the Animal Welfare Law will establish that all pets must be identifiedincluding dogs intended for hunting, and that the breeding of pets can only be carried out by professionals and registered breeders.

animals as sentient beings in animal welfare law

At the same time circuses with animals will be prohibited and the sale of dogs, cats and ferrets in pet stores will be prevented. On the other hand, the zoos and dolphinariums will be reconverted in order to become recovery centers for native species.

Initially, from the Animal Welfare Law Bullfighting shows, production animals and those intended for experimentation and research are excluded.

If the bill is approved in Parliament as it is now drafted, the hunting dogs must be registered in the Registry of Companion Animals and must be linked to the corresponding hunting license of its owner.

hunting dogs in animal welfare law

Objective: Zero Sacrifice and Abandonment

The existence of a common framework on animal protection brings with it more notable novelties, such as the prohibition of the slaughter of animals except “cases of illness or incurable injuries” or “for reasons of animal health, safety of people or animals or the existence of a risk to public health or environmental duly motivated normatively or scientifically”.

In order to guarantee the responsibility of pet owners, the Ministry of Social Rights does not allow “leaving them unattended” for three consecutive days. In the case of dogs,this period may not exceed 24 consecutive hours“.

In the same line, The unauthorized breeding of any kind of pet animal will not be allowed., in addition to employment as advertising claim “except for the exercise of activities related to them”. In fact, the standard will create a total of six records which will mean, among other issues, the obligation for breeders to identify animals with a microchip prior to their sale.

The End of the PPP Dogs

The Law also intends to reform the current system that classifies animals as potentially dangerous only because of the breed to which they belong. The criteria for considering an animal as “special management” will be determined by its behavior and not by its breed.

Pit bull breed dog

At the same time, it will be mandatory for them to be identified and their sterilization is expected if they are kept outside homes or whenever they may have uncontrolled contact with other dogsespecially when specimens of different sexes coexist in the same facilities.

Control of feline colonies

The Animal Welfare Law is committed to the correct management of feline colonies, considering that feral cats are companion animals that have suffered the negative effects of irresponsible ownership.

feline colonies in the Animal Welfare Law

This management goes through population and ethical control of feral cats with the aim of preventing their uncontrolled proliferation and achieve in the medium term that its population decreases while remaining within reasonable limits.

It will be the autonomous communities that will have to establish in each case the management protocols of these colonies at the municipal level, a protocol that should include sterilization, registration, veterinary care and training of caregivers.

Mandatory sterilization

Another novelty will be compulsory sterilization of animals that live in open spaces with other individuals of the same species and different sex. The text indicates that “The necessary measures must be taken to avoid the uncontrolled reproduction of pet animals.“. In this way, the animals that are kept or have access to the outside of the houses and may have uncontrolled contact with others must be sterilized.

eurasier dogs

The document establishes that, in the event that in the same dwelling or location there are animals of the same species and of different sexes, at least all members of one of the sexes must be sterilizedexcept in the case of breeders registered in the National Registry of Breeders.

The regulations establish that pet animals must be sterilized prior to transmission in cases established by regulation. If the delivery to the breeder occurs before the recommended age for sterilization, the future owner must undertake to sterilize the animal whenever possible, excepting from this obligation those animals whose transmission is made to another breeder. Finally, the owner of an animal must notify the competent authority of the loss of his pet within a maximum period of 48 hours because otherwise it will be considered as abandonment.

Furthermore, it is established that individuals may not own more than five animals in their homeand must in any case be registered as a zoological nucleus if it exceeds said figure.

Goodbye pet stores

In the future, the commercialization of animals will be very restricted in our country and only fish will be able to be sold in pet stores.

pet stores

Neither dogs, nor cats, nor ferrets, nor rabbits, nor small mammals, nor reptiles, nor birds, may be marketed in shops.

On the other hand, the farming of American minks for industrial purposes will also be prohibited.

It must be remembered that the Animal Welfare Law has just begun its parliamentary procedure and that of its debate in Congress and the Senate can change some of its most controversial aspects.

dog veterinary insurance