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Domestic and wild animals will no longer be considered âobjectsâ in Spain thanks to the legislation which has just been adopted. It comes after years of increasing pressure from animal rights groups.
Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies, approved the bill on Thursday – four years after its proposal.
It was well received by Congress, with the exception of the far-right Vox party, which voted against the bill.
The animals were already recognized as sentient beings under European law, the Spanish penal code and regional administrative laws, according to El PaÃs, but not in the Spanish Civil Code.
The Civil Code – mortgage law and civil procedure law – deals with conflicts relating to family and property.
The Code will be updated to recognize animals as sensitive, offering them greater legal protection. Although wild animals are included in the bill, the changes mainly concern domestic animals. It aims, in part, to honor the bond between an animal and its family.
Under the new law, animals cannot be captured, abused or abandoned. In particular, 200,000 animals are abandoned in Spain each year. This is according to Juantxo LÃ³pez de Uralde of Unidas Podemos, a democratic socialist electoral alliance, who spoke to El PaÃs.
Until now, “animals weren’t seen as different from a television,” said Guillermo DÃaz of center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens).
From now on, during separations or divorces, animals cannot be taken away from their owners without consideration for their well-being. Courts must ensure that the animal’s needs are met, regardless of the owner.
The impact could be significant, given that around 30,000 married couples with pets divorce each year in Spain, Weekly Euro News intercourse, as well as non-marital break-ups.
In addition, pets and farm animals can no longer be seized as property in the event of unpaid debts.
‘One step forward’
The legislation also deals with the mental and physical health of pets. The Animal League Defense Fund quotes the invoice: “The costs of healing and caring for an animal injured or abandoned by a third party are recoverable by whoever paid them insofar as they were provided and even they have exceeded the value of the animal.
âIn the event that the injury of a pet has resulted in its death or a serious deterioration of its physical or psychological health, both its owner and those who live with the animal are entitled to compensation for the moral damage caused. “
MarÃa GonzÃ¡lez Lacabex of INTERcids, a legal organization specializing in animal welfare, welcomed the new legislation.
“It is a step forward and it says that in separations and divorces, the arrangement that will be applied to animals will take into account not only the interests of humans, but also of the animal,” she said. declared, by El PaÃs.
Vox lawmaker Ãngel LÃ³pez Maraver disagrees. Maraver described the law as âmadness, nonsense, stupidity. He humanizes animals and dehumanizes man.