By John Ensor •
Updated: 05 Feb 2024 • 8:53
Members of No to Hunting (NAC) demonstrate in Madrid.
Activists across Spain took to the streets to call for an end to hunting with dogs and for these animals to be protected under the Animal Welfare Law.
On Sunday, February 4, the No to Hunting (NAC) platform spearheaded rallies in 47 Spanish cities, drawing attention to the plight of hunting dogs.
These demonstrations aimed to highlight the mistreatment and abandonment of greyhounds and other breeds used in hunting.
Notably, these animals were left out of the Animal Welfare Law passed in February 2023, sparking controversy from various sectors, including pet trade, veterinary professionals, and anti-speciesist activists.
In the capital, Madrid, around 1,200 individuals, escorted by their dogs, primarily greyhounds and hounds, gathered to voice their concerns. These breeds often face the brunt of abuse in the hunting sector due to their limited ‘lifespan’ in the industry.
Spain remains the only EU country that permits hunting with these animals, a point stressed by NAC during the rally which saw participation from political entities like Podemos and the animal rights party Pacma.
‘A real animal welfare law, without discrimination and without economic interests behind it,’ was a key demand from NAC spokesperson, Mia Rojo.
The conversation also touched on Spain’s severe drought, stressing the impact on wildlife and the need for protective measures.
According to the NAC, ‘institutions should take into account this situation that directly affects biodiversity and protect birds and mammals from hunting activity.’
This environmental crisis further underscores the urgency of re-evaluating hunting practices.
The movement saw significant turnout in regions like Castilla y Leon, where protests occurred in seven provincial capitals.
Valladolid led with nearly a hundred attendees, followed by Burgos and Segovia. Demonstrations in Palencia and Salamanca drew comparable numbers, with Leon and Avila also participating actively.
Moreover, Sevilla saw a substantial mobilisation, reflecting widespread support for the cause. The massage even spread as far as the UK with one post which read: ‘Yesterday in London our family attended the peaceful protest against hunting with dogs in Spain. This is the first year there has been a March in London.’
The nationwide call to action underscores a growing discontent with current hunting practices and the legal framework surrounding animal welfare.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
About time they end the hunting cruelty for dogs and wildlife. It is sickening what these hunters do to their animals and wildlife as will.
absolutely agree, the random hunting of wildlife for personal pleasure is barbaric, we are living in the 21st century!!!!!! and the way they treat the hunting dogs is appalling, I have witnessed first hand how some of the hunters just abandon their hunting dogs after the season leaving them to starve and die alone, disgraceful. Then if the hunting dogs are lucky they are discovered by animal lovers and taken to shelters for re-homing, some make it, some do not as they are too emaciated to be treated. This has to stop.
Agreed that should not be happening, but where is the journalism on the protests all over Europe regarding globalism and the closing of farms which will cause food shortages for the people and the fat cats will continue eating steak whilst we eat bugs … please report on this euro weekly .
I completely agree with a ban on hunting and hunters dogs to be included in the animal welfare system but, having lived in an area where hunters “act”, I doubt much notice will be taken of those rules!
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