Spain’s Animal Welfare Law Will Limit The Number Of Pets In a Home

Image of various pets.

Image of various pets. Credit: Eric Isselee/

SPAIN’S new Animal Welfare Law comes into force on September 29, a revolutionary move designed to protect animals that are being kept as domestic pets.

It will be implemented six months after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) and as provided in said legal text, officially called Law 7/2023, of March 28, it is designed to protect the rights and welfare of animals.

From this date, specific rules will apply to anybody possessing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and even reptiles. One of these rules will limit the number of pets that any single household can keep.

The Animal Welfare Law establishes that a home is limited to five units. However, if the number of pets already exceeds five when the law comes into force – or if an owner decides to have more than five in the future – then a special permit must be applied for.

Owners must notify the town hall if they wish to keep a large number of pets

This is done by going to the competent authorities – which in this case is the town hall of residence – and notifying them of the possession or desire to have a large group of different animals in a home, according to

Two processes follow this. Firstly, the administration will check each case of personal ownership of various pets. In theory, this ‘check’ should always be carried out when an animal is to be registered as a domestic pet.

Secondly, in the case of notifying the authorities of the desire to register a large number of animals, a report must be submitted from a qualified veterinarian. They must certify and verify the well-being of all the animals involved.

Permits to keep more than five pets can be refused

This permit can be refused in both the personal case or if there is an unfavourable report from a professional veterinarian. In such a case, the possession of five animals or more will not be permitted.

When this occurs, the owner must give their pets to a specialised centre with the corresponding license. Should this step be skipped then the owner could be exposed to a hefty penalty of up to €200,000 euros if the crime is considered to be very serious.

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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


    • Peter Squires

      11 September 2023 • 11:21

      Currently this is a complete joke. I have contacted several insurers and none of them know of or how to get civil liability insurance coverage and have even suggested that it is up to the local authorities if they enforce this or not.

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