Spanish MPs want animal abuse punished more severely

by Deborah Cater
Animal abuse needs more severe punishment say Spanish MPs
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Several MPs in Spain want animal abuse to be punished more severely than currently. In doing so, they hope to put an end to the 183,000 dogs and 123,000 cats left to their own devices on the street every year.

This became clear during a political symposium organised by the Spanish Royal Dog Association (RSCE). The symposium focused on the new animal cruelty criminal law introduced in Spain a year ago but still pending approval.

According to the participants, the future law must ensure there is greater awareness about animal welfare. For example, the purchase and keeping of pets must take place in a more responsible manner. Also, there must be a strict breeding policy and animal abuse must be punished more severely.

Animal abuse is always punishable

Currently, there is a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for animal cruelty or neglect. This can lapse for those without a criminal record. Politicians now want to end this possible impunity.

PSOE parliamentarian Sandra Guaita indicated a new bill is in process. It draws attention to animals as sentient living beings. In divorces, deaths of owners or mortgage executions, this is often overlooked and the pets end up on the street.

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Juantxo López de Uralde of Unidas Podemos calls for a national animal protection law that is the same for all regions. It should also include the protection of wild animals such as the wolf.

Milagros Marcos of the PP advocates an integral focus on animal welfare, which she believes is currently lacking in politics.

Magdalena Nevado of Vox wants to prevent these animals from ending up on the street with a VAT reduction on medical care for pets and good training courses for the “potentially dangerous dogs”. Nevado also calls for a “disability registry” that records people who have not properly raised their at-risk pets.

Finally, Ana Rodríguez of Ciudadanos in Madrid wants a ban on putting stray dogs and cats to sleep, aesthetic mutilation of pets and the giving of pets as a “reward or prize”.

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