Last month “Ley de Bienestar Animal de la Comunidad Valenciana” has been passed. This is not the famous Spanish Animal Protection Act, which is still in process.
Both laws talk about animal protection, and they are very similar, but there are small differences. Besides, some aspects of both laws haven’t been developed yet. A good example would be the formation course for dogs owners, which will be mandatory in the future: at this moment its contents are not established yet.
In this article, we are going to concentrate on the Valencian law, because it’s in force at the moment. Like in so many other laws, its effects are not immediate: there is a 6 months term in order to get updated about all new regulations the new law introduces.
What’s new in Valencian Animal Welfare Act? The most important things are:
Every dog, cat an ferret must be chipped, even if they are not going to cross the border. Remember so far chipping was optional in cats and ferrets which were not going to leave Spain. Cats and ferrets owners have a 6 months term to update their animals, and the fact that “it never goes out” is not a valid excuse. And besides, feral cats colonies are not excluded.
Every cat older than 6 months which is not going to be used for breeding must be neutered. In this case, the Spanish law says “every cat which is allowed to be outdoors”, so it’s too soon to know which one will be finally the regulation that will prevail.
Purchasing animals from pet shops is forbidden. The only valid way to purchase them will be through a legally registered professional breeder. What they want is to stop the uncontrolled breeding without any sanitary warranty from non-professional clandestine breeders. Of course, non-profit adoptions from animal shelters keep 100% legal.
Hamsters, rabbits, budgies, lovebirds, etc, ARE valid pets, as we wrote at our previous article “Lies, alt-right and Guinea pigs”.
Venomous arthropods, fishes or reptiles are totally forbidden. In case of non-venomous reptiles, all those ones with an adult weight heavier than 2 kg (EXCEPT TORTOISES!!) are also forbidden.
In case of death of a chipped animal, it must be reported to RIVIA (local microchips database) in less than 3 days. In case of loss, you are also obliged to report RIVIA and/or Police in less than 72 hours as well. If you are late, you are supposed to be abandoning the pet.
About euthanasia, the reasons for performing it get dramatically limited. From this moment, old age (just the age), getting tired of the pet, not having enough room, etc, are no longer valid reasons. The only valid reason would be the irreversible loss of quality of life. This fact is not new for us since it appears in our professional deontological code, but the good thing is from this moment the fact that this appears in a law makes things easier, in order to avoid situations like the one we had some weeks ago: a property in the campo had been sold, and neither the new owner nor the old one wanted the dog that lived at the property, so they both decided it was a good idea to put it to sleep. The dog was taken to our practice, and after an exploration we noticed its only health problem was deafness, and apart from that, the animal was in perfect condition, so, obviously, we refused to perform the euthanasia. Despite it’s not very common, it’s not the first time it happens, because, unfortunately, in some cases, comfort is more relevant than animal live. Now we have an additional legal tool to do what has to be done (and not to do what shouldn’t be done).
We’ll keep solving doubts
in further articles as the legal regulations are developed.
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English Translation by Sergio Reina Esteban