New animal protection law in Spain will require dog owners to take a course

New animal protection law in Spain will require dog owners to take a course. image: pxhere

All dog owners in Spain will have to take a course, except in the case of hunting, herding, or guard dogs

The Ministry of Social Rights, during a meeting of the Council of Ministers, yesterday, Friday, February 18, approved a preliminary draft of the animal welfare and protection bill. It relates to hunting dogs, or herding animals, in Spain, and could enter into force before the end of 2022.
This bill has the difficult distinction of differentiating between dogs kept as pets, or those used for outdoor activities. The breed of the dog does not come into this, as thousands of dogs with pedigrees, and hunting or herding instincts, live as pets and have never been used for such work.
In the final wording of the bill’s text – which had access to – there are two articles, with few differences between them, dedicated to hunting and herding dogs, and those used as guard dogs.

Both cases require the dogs to be registered in the registry of pets that is to be developed. They must also be linked to the hunting licence, and to the rancher registry of the person in charge, or owner. In order to breed any of these dogs, it will be necessary to register in the registry of breeders, whose conditions are also pending development.

Herding or livestock guard dogs with access to the outside, whose owner is not on the breeders’ registry, and who may have uncontrolled access to other dogs, must be fitted with a geolocation device.

This is something not contemplated for hunting dogs, for which sterilisation is required in the same situation. In both instances though, if there are dogs of both sexes in the same location that cannot be separated, at least all the males, or all the females, must be sterilised.

Also, hunting dogs that change hands, if they are being given to someone who is not in the future registry of breeders, they will either have to be sterilised, or be delivered with the commitment to sterilisation.

The greatest distinction between these professional dogs and the rest comes from their being exempt from certain obligations. Article 33.2 does not apply to dogs that deal with livestock.

Article 33.2 reads, “The holders, or, failing that, those responsible for keeping animals as pets that usually remain in open spaces, and that live or may interact with other animals of the same species and different sex, will be forced to sterilise their pets”.

In section 1 of article 35, they refer to the fact that “the owners or persons responsible for the dogs must have previously completed an accredited training course for dog ownership, the content of which will be determined by regulation”. A course whose content, procedures, and management is bound to raise numerous questions among dog owners.

Section 2 indicates that “all dogs must meet the classification criteria for sociability, complying with the mechanisms for validating their behavior and socialisation determined by regulation”.

Hunting, herding, and livestock guard dogs that do not have sociability tests will be classified as “special handling dogs, outside of the specific activity”.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]