By Chris King • 15 September 2023 • 18:58
Image of a dog with a lead in its mouth.
Credit: Javier Brosch/Shutterstock.com
THE new Animal Welfare Law will come into force in Spain on September 29, and brings with it a host of changes that pet owners need to be fully aware of.
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.
In recent years, the methods used to train and educate dogs have evolved. However, the advent of this new law means that certain tools will become obsolete and even discredited and prohibited.
One such item is the punishment collar. Despite not being recommended, and with these collars already prohibited in other countries such as Holland, they could still be purchased in some stores in Spain.
The various types available on the market include choke, spiked or electric shock collars, but from September 29, they will be outlawed in Spain.
This regulation aims to extend the prohibition that some communities have already implemented at the regional level (such as Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia), but which did not yet apply to the rest of the Spanish territory.
Article 27 of the new law states: ”The following activities on pet animals are expressly prohibited: the use of any handling tool that may cause injury to the animal is prohibited, in particular, electric, impulse, punishment or choking collars’.
With the implementation of this law, Spain joins the growing European trend of abandoning the use of this type of collar. They are known to be annoying for dogs and can often affect their behaviour, not in the way expected, but with many negative connotations say the experts.
Just a few months ago, Aurélia Beigneux, a member of the European Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, sent a written request to the European Commission asking about the permissions associated with the sale and use of dog training electric collars.
She argued that these accessories go against the Convention for the Protection of Pets, which prohibits the use of artificial training aids that cause physical and psychological suffering.
It should be noted that the new law will not apply to working or hunting dogs, such as those used by the police, or hunters. Following an amendment presented to parliament, which was subsequently approved in Congress, these dogs have been exempt from the new law.
After September 29, families and professionals who continue using this type of collar could face fines of between €10,000 and €50,000, as the use of these collars will be considered a serious infraction, according to 20minutos.es.
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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.
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There is a right way and a wrong way to put on choke chains which I have been using for our Boxer dogs for the past 40 years. Not only are they useful for training a strong dog, they have been approved by the UK Kennel Club for use at all dogs shows as well. I am sorry to say that Spanish animal legislation is approaching the whole problem from the wrong angle.
I don´t know who invented these new laws on animal welfare but hunting dogs here in Spain are treated awfully..Why on earth are they not in this new law? So basically, hunters can still abuse these poor dogs and NOTHING will happen to them.
In some aspects, Spain is a disgusting country.
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