With all of the legal processes resulting in changes and amendments along the way between the different levels of lawmakers, the Animal Protection Law has taken another, and definitive step again this week, with the Congress of Deputies approving most of the changes presented by the Senate during their assessment.
With hundreds of amendments in the penultimate draft, the Senate presented twenty major amendments to the law and the deputies have approved a dozen. We now have the full legislation as published in the BOE, which will enter into law in 6 months.
Still, one thing that has not changed, is that hunting dogs do not fall within the regulations.
All dog owners must pass a simple canine knowledge test. Carlos Alfonso López, from the RSCE veterinarian association, explains: “The test will have three parts, one on care and veterinary, another on animal welfare and another on legislation. The idea is that the documents can be downloaded and filled out online for free. It has an informative desire rather than a restrictive one”. In addition, those who take care of a dog must have civil liability insurance for damages to third parties, a regulation similar to the one that already exists in communities such as Madrid and the Basque Country. According to industry estimates, for small dogs they can range from 20 to 50 euro a year, while policies for dangerous dogs —already mandatory— range between 50 and 100 euro a year; Many home insurance already include this type of coverage.
The ban on homeless people having pets is also removed completely.
Another important novelty is that the list of 8 potentially dangerous dog breeds (the PPP) is no longer repealed, which means once again certain breeds of dogs will have to wear a muzzle and be on a short leash when out and about. It was planned that the owners would be assessed, rather than the dogs, as classifying by breed seemed unfair to many. This attitude remains.
The prohibition of leaving a pet unsupervised for more than 3 consecutive days has been approved. In the case of dogs, this time is reduced to 24 hours.
Those who have species outside the ‘Positive List of Companion Animals’ will have a period of 6 months to notify the authorities and adapt to the measures that are contemplated for their possession. This list is still outstanding.
The new law will expressly prohibit the “commercialisation of dogs, cats and ferrets in pet shops, as well as their display and exposure to the public for commercial purposes.” The sale of smaller animals will still be permitted in pet shops, and those shops can act as adoption centres. Likewise, violent and vexatious practices such as “regularly keeping dogs and cats on terraces, balconies, rooftops, storage rooms, basements, patios and similar or vehicles” or “carrying animals tied to moving motor vehicles” are prohibited.
Similarly, the standard also includes the implementation of mechanisms to control the breeding and sale of animals. In general terms, individuals will be prohibited from carrying out this activity, which can only be started by “persons duly registered” with the Administration, who must be professionals who comply with all the guarantees of animal welfare. Among these limits will be, for example, the limitation of the number of litters that each female can have. The fine for irregularly raising animals for commercial purposes will be that corresponding to very serious offences: from 50,001 to 200,000 euro.
In the same sense, the use of wild animals in circuses is prohibited throughout the national territory, as is already the case in a good part of the autonomous communities, and failure to comply with this precept will be considered a very serious infraction, also with a fine of up to 200,000 euro. Specifically, “the use of animals in prohibited activities, particularly in cultural and festive activities, in mechanical attractions, fairground carousels, as well as the use of wildlife species in circus shows” will be sanctioned. And, in the same way, “the use of animals in crib exhibitions, parades or processions” will be expressly prohibited.
These are some of the aspects that have been modified from the previous text. With the green light from Congress, the law is now ready for publication in the BOE and will enter into force in 6 months.