After approval by the Congress of Deputies, the new Animal Protection Law has now been approved by the Senate, with only a couple of votes more approving the notion. If the law had received just one more veto, it would have failed.

The more than 6,000 allegations and 450 amendments presented summarise the misgivings that the law has raised.

For months, Unidas Podemos maintained pressure against the PSOE to open up to returning hunting dogs to the protection guaranteed by law as it came out of the Council of Ministers. The Socialists managed to include during the debate in the commission – thanks to the support of PP, Vox and other parties such as the Basque Nationalist Party and the Canary Islands Coalition – an amendment that left out dogs used for hunting, as well as those used for grazing, guarding, those who participate in sports activities and other professional dogs such as State security forces and bodies.

Minister Ione Belarra, during her speech in plenary session of the Senate, apologised for the law leaving out hunting dogs. “I reiterate my apologies to the people who see the consequences every day, at the end of the hunting season, when many dogs are abandoned, or because there are puppies buried in quicklime,” she said, linking the hunting sector – there are some 750,000 hunters in Spain — with animal abuse.

Of all the amendments presented, the amendments propose to eliminate the concept of “begging” in the article that prohibits the use of animals as lure, and another that eliminates the obligation to microchip and sterilise stray cats.

Likewise, the eight partial amendments of the PSOE have been approved, the majority of a technical nature. Specifically, they seek that people who have animals that are prohibited by law as pets must notify the competent authorities within six months of its entry into force, which will adopt the necessary measures for their intervention and making them available to centres of protection of wild animals, zoos or animal protection entities.

While in the modification of the Penal Code in relation to animal abuse, an amendment has been supported that proposes that the future of confiscated animals be resolved taking into account their protection and well-being in order to avoid “unwanted” situations, such as the return of the abused animal to the abuser after the period of disqualification.

Both laws will be approved by Congress in the coming weeks after the incorporation of the amendments. They will then be published in the Official State Gazette (BOE), although for their entry into force it will be necessary to wait another six months, and even longer for aspects with a moratorium.

Once again, we must now wait for the 450 amendments to be added to the text of the law, and for the publication, before we know exactly the full implications, but one thing we do now know for sure is that the bulk of the law has been approved, affording more protection to animals, but It has not gone as far as many had hoped, but as was mentioned by those looking to compromise in the draft stage, this law is better than no law.