A-hunting we shall go

Photo credit: juliazara / shutterstock.com

PEDRO SANCHEZ already has one headache – a full-blown migraine in fact – caused by the Only Yes Means Yes law promoted by the PSOE’s coalition partner, Unidas Podemos.

Now UP’s hackles have risen over the Animal Welfare law promoted by Social Rights minister Ione Belarra because the text excludes hunting dogs, sheep dogs and those used by the police and armed forces.

Belarra, who is also secretary general of Podemos, the other half of the Unidas Podemos two-party alliance, is not happy.

She is frequently not happy about many things, and recently made headlines after describing Juan Roig, Mercadona’s relatively benevolent president, as a “pitiless capitalist” lining his pockets at the expense of the poor.

Most people, especially those who do their shopping at Mercadona, would not agree with Belarra’s take on Roig but would concede that the lives of Spain’s hunting dogs can be very grim and their fate invariably worse.

Trouble is brewing because Sanchez refuses to include working dogs’ protection in the bill.

Spain’s hunting sector generates more than €5 billion a year in economic activity according to Deloitte, and obviously should be afforded every consideration. But there is more to it than that.

Months ago, PSOE party headquarters in Madrid had to reassure rural mayors up for re-election next May that the new Animal Welfare law introduced by Unidas Podemos was not going to spoil hunters’ fun.

Hunting in Spain generally means shooting and although killing animals for fun is an elite pastime, it is also, and always has been, a hobby for the non-elite in the depopulated country areas that are less inclined to vote PSOE than in the past.

Most of those hunters use dogs and although many should ponder on the new law’s declaration that animals are sentient beings it is unlikely to stop them from hanging podencos from trees once their useful days are over. Or, indeed, encourage them to vote for the PSOE, let alone Unidas Pode


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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