Hundreds of people protest in Spain against the use of hunting dogs

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hunting dogs

Throughout Spain, on Sunday, February 4, people took to the streets demanding an end to hunting activities. With this action, the protesters primarily aim to ensure hunting dogs are included in the Spanish animal welfare law.

The platform ‘No a la Caza’ (No to Hunting) initiated the demonstrations. In 47 cities across Spain, protesters gathered with greyhounds and other dog breeds used in hunting. This way, they want to bring visibility to these animals and protect them against abuse and neglect.

Last year, animal rights activists also protested against the new animal welfare law approved by Spain in February 2023. Because it does not protect hunting dogs. The new law is controversial due to criticism from various quarters, including veterinarians, pet traders, and anti-speciesists, who believe that animals should have the same rights as humans.

This last group mobilizes en masse each February. That is when the hunting season ends. According to the protest organizers, most dogs are then abandoned to their fate. According to animal protection organizations like PACMA, this concerns at least 12,000 dogs annually.

Baycrest Wealth

In Madrid, the police reported that about twelve hundred people attended the protests last Sunday. Accompanied by their hunting dogs, they gathered in the city to show that these dogs have only a ‘short lifespan’ according to the platform No a la Caza (NAC).

Influential hunting lobby

Spain is the only country in the European Union that allows certain types of dogs to be used in hunting, a point emphasized by NAC during the meeting. NAC spokesperson Mía Rojo criticized the “hunting lobby’s” interference in the law’s handling, stating there was “significant pressure to exclude hunting dogs from the law at the last minute.” Rojo called for “a real animal welfare law, without discrimination and without economic interests.”

Drought makes hunting of wild animals an even more contentious issue

Besides hunting with dogs, the platform expressed concerns about the effects of severe drought in Spain on wild animals. According to the association, institutions must take this situation into account due to its significant impact on biodiversity, and birds and mammals should be specially protected against hunting.

In many other cities in Spain, animal rights activists gathered to highlight animal welfare. In Madrid, members of political parties such as Podemos and the animal rights party Pacma also attended the meeting.


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