Spain’s new animal welfare law could encourage black market

by Lorraine Williamson
animal welfare law

MADRID – The pet sector in Spain is calling on the government to review the animal welfare law, which was initially positively received. The reason for this is to prevent fueling the black market for illegally buying and selling pets. 

At the beginning of this year, the newly announced animal welfare law in Spain was positively received. Nevertheless, various bills could have a negative effect according to the Spanish pet sector. 

Ban makes the black market in Spain more attractive 

The bill provides for a ban on the sale of companion animals in shops as well as the abolition of mediation between private individuals and pets in shelters. The latter in particular, according to the sector, favours the black market as it robs the shelters, which are currently overcrowded, of the resources provided to them by these private entities. Resources and help are desperately needed to find potential adoptive parents for pets in need. 

It is precisely for this reason that the sector is asking the government to review the guidelines. And also to take into account contributions and support to asylums from the private sector. Some companies and foundations that belong to this are, for example, ASAC and AEDPAC, asylum Amigos Cipa and major players such as KIWOKO, Tiendanimal, Miscota, Koala, Mascotas Ávila, and Verdecora. 

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Population awareness instead of ban 

According to some organisations, a ban on the sale of animals in shops is counterproductive. Instead, there should be guidelines for the welfare of animals, regardless of who offers them. And also guidelines that represent the interests of families who want to buy an animal. Consequently, a ban as proposed does not contribute to the goal that no animal is left on the street. Therefore, the solution does not lie in banning sales, but in controlling, educating, and raising awareness of the population. 

In the UK

The Government introduced legislation to tackle the low welfare, high volume supply of puppies and kittens. Therefore, they have banned their commercial third-party sale in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, this extends to rabbits also.

‘Lucy’s Law’ means that anyone wanting to get a new puppy or kitten in England must now buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. Licensed dog breeders are required to show puppies interacting with their mothers in their place of birth. Furthermore, they must not be given to their new homes until they reach at least 8 weeks of age.

Related post: Animal welfare in Spain

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