Animal welfare has crept in the draft Law on Sports approved by the Council of Ministers on February 1st. Article 9 of the regulation calls for controlling the participation of animals in sporting activities in such a way as to ensure their "protection, health, well-being and adequate and responsible tenure and use". Your suffering or abuse will also be avoided. The two brief paragraphs have raised the criticism of the hunters who declare themselves "perplexed and bewildered".
The president of the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation (RFEC), Ángel López Maraver, argues that it already exists animal welfare legislation in the autonomous communities. "The wording of the article is so wide that we do not understand what he is referring to," he criticizes, in any case, he is convinced that it is another attack by the Executive against the hunting activity, as well as the new weapons regulation that " it will have disastrous consequences "for the manufacturers industry, the commercial sector of armory stores and a whole group of citizens.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture maintains, however, that the draft does not refer at any time to the animals that are hunted. "The intention of this law is not to prohibit hunting in any case," especially because the powers fall on the autonomous communities, warn the same sources. The new norm, which aims to update the 1990 legislation, is in the public hearing phase, in which the federations and all the actors involved are called to express their opinion in this regard. The text, which will pick up the suggestions or not, will go back to the Council of Ministers and from there it will go to the Congress.
The conservationist group Ecologists in Action he does not understand the hunters' reluctance with the article of the Sports Law. Miguel Ángel Martínez, member of the organization, considers it an overacting on the part of the hunting sector "that borders on paranoia". "What the article says is logical, you have to behave well with the animals and maybe they react like that because they know they do not make good use of the animals they use or those they hunt," he says. The most bloody thing for him is the pigeon shooting, in which live animals are used. Or the hunts in which pheasants, pigeons or partridges reared in farm are released. The deputy of Unidos Podemos, Juan López de Uralde, shares the opinion that the sector "is on the defensive in everything". "The slightest legal movement in defense of animals is considered an aggression against hunting," he said.
The deputy of PP Teófilo de Luis argues that the legislation must be very clear and exclude dogs that engage in hunting, farming and agricultural activities in general. "With those ambiguous texts, someone can always come forward and report that a bitch has given birth without veterinary assistance in the middle of the night, when the reality is that the delivery has gone ahead," she explains. For these reasons, the hunters are "very chastened and on permanent guard," says De Luis. Ensures that hunters (he is also) take special care with their dogs, because they help and accompany.
In SOS Galgo they welcome the initiative to include measures against animal abuse. Anna Clements, co-founder of the NGO, explains that greyhounds and hounds continue to suffer the abandonment of their owners when they do not need them anymore. "They are considered disposable animals," he describes. Clements insists that there is no political will to end the problem, "because they are manipulated by the hunting lobby." The organization now cares for about 40 copies, distributed among residences and temporary shelters, "but it could be 300 if we had the resources for it". Although the situation has improved, and "they no longer dare to hang them, because they are frowned upon, they continue to abandon them when they no longer serve to hunt or take them to kennels where euthanasia is practiced." Clements advocates education in schools as the only way to "break the cycle of violence."
Sources of the Royal Equestrian Federation of Spain consider that the article of the Sports Law "fits with our codes of conduct". "It is a reality that must be like that", they specify.
The transposition of the European directive in the Arms Regulation is getting complicated. The Royal Spanish Hunting Federation (RFEC), the Olympic Shooting Federation, the Armeria Association and the Armeria Sectorial Federation, demand that the Executive withdraw the project immediately, because they believe they have been "betrayed". The president of the RFEC, Angel Lopez, said that the intention of the Government and its top leaders, "who have declared themselves animalists, opposed to the hunting activity and even prohibitionists with the activity."
The manager of the Armera Association, Marta Gómez, added that the Government has decided "unilaterally to skip all the agreed upon". The text establishes "new and disproportionate limitations to innocuous products for citizen security such as compressed air carbines, air soft and paint ball weapons, bows, spearfishing rifles or bladed weapons," he added.
Sources of the Ministry of the Interior have indicated to Europa Press that the draft regulation is still in the period of public information, and that the only thing it intends is to transpose the European directive into the Spanish legal system.