The Council of Ministers approved this Monday in the second round the Animal Rights bill, promoted by the Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda. With this rule, the Government intends to put an end to the mistreatment, abandonment and sacrifice of animals. It also seeks to say goodbye to circuses with wild animals and cockfights. With the green light from the Executive, the text prepared by the department of Ione Belarra will thus go through its parliamentary process for final approval.
The first animal rights law will prohibit their sale in stores and circuses with wild creatures
In the text that has been approved by the Executive, it is committed to a 'zero sacrifice' of pet animals, which can only be slaughtered "for sanitary and euthanasia reasons", the Ministry asserts in a statement. "With this law we are going to end the impunity of animal abusers," Belarra said in a video broadcast on his Twitter account, where he pointed out that they are trying to prevent "that abandoned animals that nobody claims can be sacrificed."
Today is a very important day because we are going to give the green light in the Council of Ministers to the first Animal Rights Law in the history of our country. A law that makes us more human.
We continue to move forward together towards that country that loves and cares for its animals. pic.twitter.com/vHF3NqPKBS
— Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) August 1, 2022
More punishment for mistreatment
It is also advocated for the "toughening of the penalties for mistreatment through the reform of the Penal Code”. In this way, "for cases of mistreatment resulting in death, the prison sentence will be toughened up to 24 months and up to 36 in the event that more than one aggravating circumstance occurs." This modification of the penalties includes crimes that affect "vertebrate animals", such as wild boars, "whose mistreatment did not entail criminal reproach until now."
No to shows and exhibitions
Among the main lines of the law, the prohibition of circuses with wild animals and the conversion of zoos and dolphinariums into recovery centers for native species are contemplated. Also, if finally this text goes ahead, animals may not be used in "activities and shows in which they may suffer harm or death, such as cockfights or pigeon shooting," adds Social Rights. The minister maintains that these types of events "are already outside the common sense of our society." If the drafted text finally comes into force, "the fines may reach up to 200,000 euros," adds Belarra.
The purchase and abandonment of pets are two other axes of this strategy. The text that has passed the filter of the Council of Ministers for the second time will prohibit "the commercialization of dogs, cats and ferrets in pet stores, as well as their display and exposure to the public for commercial purposes."
Likewise, to fight against abandonment, it will ensure "that all pets are identified and breeding can only be done by registered breeders." According to data cited by Belarra, "last year more than 285,000 dogs and cats came to shelters" because their owners got rid of them.