The Minister council has approved this Monday the first Animal Protection Law. The ambitious project led by the Ministry of Ione Belarra emphasizes the possession of dogs, forcing their owners to take a course and pay insurance, something that until now was not mandatory.
The current law establishes that, with the exception of some autonomous communities such as Madrid, the possession of dogs that are not considered potentially dangerous (PPP) does not carry the obligation to have civil liability insurance. But the new norm eliminates this category of animal, and the insurance becomes mandatory for all types of dogs.
Until the new regulations are implemented, in Spain the possession of animals considered “dangerous” is governed by the Law 50/1999of December 23, on the Legal Regime of Possession of Potentially Dangerous Animals.
In it, it is established that a series of dogs such as pitbullaAmerican Staffordshirethe rottweiler or the Argentine dogo. The definition is based on its “size, aggressive nature, or the power of its jaw having the ability to cause injury or death to a person.”
Belarra congratulates the vets removing the term PPP, but establishing a new one: “special handling dog”. Sources of the profession assure that the classification of a dog to be considered dangerous is not “genetic” but depends on the education that is given and that, in his opinion, it was the “little” that was “saved” from the law .
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The sector affirms that the norm approved this Monday by the Council of Ministers has “very important gaps” and is tailored to the “protectors of animals”.
In aspects such as the control of litters of stray dogs or cats, veterinarians have always been involved in a microchipped general, while castration has been endorsed in the protectors. In the end, the position Belarra’s team has opted for is the latter.
One of the great complaints that veterinarians have is that it is not yet known who is going to test the dogs to consider them “special handling”. According to the new law, the control of the sociability of the dogs will be carried out on all breeds and instead of having a list to consider them PPP, an individualized examination will be carried out.
“In a visit you can not see the aggressiveness or the character of a dog,” say the veterinarians. And it is that, what the Government proposes is that studies of sociability be carried out and the dogs will be classified “according to the behavior and socialization that they demonstrate”. After testing, any breed may be classified as special handling. This means that there may be “special handling” Chihuahuas and pit bulls let them walk without a muzzle.
sources of Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 they affirm that the idea is that these tests are carried out by professionals such as “veterinarians with training in ethology, trainers with stipulated training, etc.” The fear of the veterinarians is that both the course to have a dog and this character test of the animals are taught by “the friends of the protectors”.
What they asked for at the time both the State Federation of Veterinary Unions, FESVET, as the Veterinary Council was the creation of a National Registry of Animal Behavior Professionals. This “must be based clearly on the certification of training, without prejudice to the skills of veterinary professionals in the field of ethology.”
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With all this, and against the demands of the defenders to eliminate the PPP label, the new law will continue to give an adjective to the most aggressive dogs; although, on this occasion, they will be considered “special handling”. For them, as is now happening with the PPPs, there will be a series of extra care.
What the new law does not clarify is whether these measures will be the use of a muzzle and a two-meter leash or chain, how it happens time It only speaks of “having security measures to prevent attacks or escapes.”
Regarding courses for dog ownership, the law establishes the obligation of dog owners (before, only PPP owners were required in some autonomies) to receive a free training course.
Not much is known about this formation. The text approved in Minister council establishes that it will be “an accredited training course for dog ownership, the content of which will be determined by regulation”.
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