MADRID – Animal associations demonstrated in Madrid this Sunday. They demand that the future animal protection and rights law will protect all dogs, without excluding hunting dogs.
🇪🇸 El Ministerio @mapagob está presionando para excluir a los perros utilizados en la caza de la futura Ley de Protección Animal.
— AnimaNaturalis (@AnimaNaturalis) January 31, 2022
“Spanish society feels closer to animals. Therefore, people are increasingly opposed to practices such as hunting. The law which regulates these practices dates back to the last century”. Jaime Posadas is AnimaNaturalis’ coordinator in Madrid and writes this in a note. “Forty years ago, the focus on hunting dogs and other animals was very different from today. Consequently, we demand that the welfare of these animals be more closely monitored. Moreover, they should have the same rights as pets,” said Posadas.
Common practice in hunting dogs
A common practice in hunting in Spain is that the owners force the dogs to reproduce. This way there are always young dogs suitable for hunting. Then the older dogs that do not meet the specifications for hunting are discarded. Authorities do not monitor this activity but that could change with the next Animal Protection and Rights Act.
Loss of millions of jobs
Consequently, the hunting industry is strongly opposed to these changes. It announced this would mean the end of the hunt and the loss of millions of jobs in Spain. However, these are only minimums that also apply to other places where several animals live, such as shelters, kennels, and other places without a special breeding permit.
Hunting dogs are ‘mere work tools’
According to CAS International, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food increases the pressure to the detriment of the dogs. They urge lawmakers to exclude hunting dogs from future animal protection and rights laws. They see them as are mere working tools. The hunter’s lobby and Agriculture Minister Planas believe that these dogs are not pets and therefore do not have to be subject to the law.
However, “the only restriction” the new law aims to put on the sector is the requirement of a zoological core for all kennels housing more than five dogs. That would mean vets could inspect the dogs periodically. In addition, vets should castrate the male dogs if they live with females in the same space to prevent and reduce abandonment.
Posadas said, “Excluding these dogs from the law just because there is an economic benefit calls into question the priorities this government places on the lives and suffering of the most defenseless creatures in society, namely animals.”
During the protest in Madrid, participants carried signs with messages. Bystanders and present media could read messages such as: “They all suffer in the same way”, “they also need protection” or “we demand equality before the law”.