Helping Fido and Friends
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An ambitious new animal welfare law in Spain promises to crack down on animal abuse and forbids the sale of pets even as it makes exceptions for bullfights and hunts with dogs, both longtime Spanish traditions, the Associated Press reported.
The new legislation is the first specific animal rights bill that will outlaw the use of animals for recreational activities that cause them pain and suffering. Individuals violating these rules could face fines of up to $212,000.
Such bans include the use of wild animals at circuses and the sale of pets in stores or online. The law allows circuses and stores a grace period to find homes for their animals.
Future pet owners will only be allowed to buy animals from registered breeders. At the same time, the new rules also allow pets into most establishments, including restaurants and bars.
However, the new rules permit bullfighting, a practice that is regarded as part of Spain’s cultural heritage. The government had also proposed to ban the use of hunting dogs but relented after pushback from rural communities.
There are around 29 million pets in Spain, according to government statistics. Data also shows that around 300,000 of them are abandoned each year and about one-third are put down.