The Government hopes to pass a law soon that will substantially change the trade and the responsibilities or obligations of dog and cat owners.
In fact, technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment have been working for months on a draft bill establishing the basic regulations for the responsible trade and ownership of dogs and cats, with the aim, among others, of ‘achieving adequate conditions for the maintenance of dogs and cats, ensuring that they are treated properly and avoiding their abandonment’, as well as preventing uncontrolled breeding.
Next we summarize in five points the most relevant aspects of this draft law.
- It is forbidden to abandon animals, as well as to torture or mistreat them and to kill them by means other than the application, by a veterinarian, of a medicine authorized as euthanasia.
- The marketing of animals in pet shops is prohibited, as is their display and exhibition to the public for commercial purposes. It is studied how the purchase of a pet could be made directly from the breeder, without intermediaries. In addition, puppies under eight weeks of age could not be marketed.
- The breeding of dogs and cats is regulated, differentiating between occasional and regular breeders and requiring both to comply with specific obligations to ensure the welfare of the animals.
A law that makes up for the lack of common sense of some
- Obligations are laid down for owners and other holders of animals, including the obligation to provide them with the necessary care and attention to ensure that they do not suffer pain, suffering or unnecessary injury, including proper feeding, vaccination and space allowances.
- The use of the microchip is mandatory and any dog or cat not wearing a microchip is considered abandoned, as is failure to report its disappearance. Owners must report the loss of their dog or cat within 7 calendar days and inform the competent authority of the death of the animal or change in ownership.
Of all the measures proposed, the ban on selling dogs and cats in pet shops is probably the most controversial. The government talks about avoiding the compulsive purchase of animals in specialized establishments and some protectionists applaud this ban, because they also criticize the exposure of these animals in uncomfortable urns.
Spain is among the countries in Europe with the highest rate of pet abandonment, so whether or not the measure is effective in relation to the main motivation for acquiring a pet, what is clear is that any proposal that helps to end the abandonment of animals will be well received.