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Spain´s new Animal Protection Law Spain´s new Animal Protection Law

Animals

New Animal Protection Law Approved

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The so-called “Ley de Bienestar Animal” (“LBA”), or Animal Protection Law, which is set to regulate the protection of the rights and welfare of animals, has been approved on March 16, 2023 in Congress, and will enter into force 6 months from its publication in the BOE.

Although the final legislation is a watered-down version of the original draft, some elements go beyond those already in place in regional legislation.

Sale of animals

The Law does not allow the sale of dogs, cats, or ferrets in pet shops. Those animals can only be purchased from a registered breeder. Private and unregistered breeders are also not allowed to sell these animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles, rodents, fish and turtles can still be sold in pet shops, where a sales contract and Animal Welfare Contract must be signed and agreed by the purchaser, which is the case now.

The direct sale of animals over the Internet will not be allowed, in order to ensure their well-being, the safety of citizens and prevent illegal trafficking.

Positive List of Companion Animals

It is a novelty in the Law, which will include a list of wild species that can be kept as pets, along with a List of Domestic Companion Species, and those which will not be allowed. These Lists are not yet elaborated. There is a period of 2 years to approve the regulations that develop them

Adoption

The LBA regulates and promotes adoption and reinforces it through specialised animal care establishments, allowing some pet shops that have a collaboration agreement with protectors to temporarily accommodate their animals and thus facilitate their adoption. Of course, always supported through an adoption contract.

Obligations for the owners

Continue to care for your companion animal as you always do.

You must provide the animal with adequate space, keep them clean, well hydrated and fed, not leave him alone in a closed vehicle, nor in unsuitable places like a balcony, and you will be obliged to keep the pet updated with vaccinations and check-ups.

For dog owners

Training course: It is confirmed that all dog owners will have to undergo a training course. This course will be mandatory for future dog owners. In the case of the current ones, we will have to wait for the details of what is established in the future Regulations. The course will be free and its content will also be determined in the future Regulations. Until that time comes, it won’t be mandatory.

Civil liability insurance: It will be mandatory and be valid throughout the life of the dog.

Finally, the obligation to carry out a sociability test has been suppressed in the definitive Law.

Sterilisation

The LBA does not require the forced sterilisation of companion animals in general. It will only be required in 2 cases:

(i) Cats must be identified with a microchip and sterilised before they are 6 months old;

(ii) in the case of adoption of dogs and ferrets, the protective entity must sterilise the animal before transfer for adoption (or assume the commitment if under veterinary criteria it is not old enough).

In general, for any owner of any species, they are only obliged to adopt the necessary measures to avoid uncontrolled reproduction.

 

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