The animal protection law it will be debated and voted on this Thursday in the Congress of Deputies. The draft law seeks, (among other things), to toughen the penalties for animal abuse; prohibit cockfighting; convert zoos and dolphinariums into rehabilitation and recovery centers for species; prohibit abandonment; and put an end to the slaughter of animals without sanitary reasons.
However, the approval of the law is in the air due to an amendment presented by the PSOE during its parliamentary process, which excludes hunting dogs from the protection of the law, and contradicts what they had previously approved in the Minister council and what all animal protection associations ask for.
This amendment, (presented by the PSOE), went ahead thanks to the support of the PP and Vox. Parties that, by the way, do not even want the animal protection law to be approved. And this despite the fact that (from a pure electoral arithmetic point of view) it doesn’t make much sense either. There really aren’t that many hunters in Spain As we think, there are currently some 900,000 licenses in force, but these correspond to some 300,000 hunters, since they do not have just one license, they each have several.
The law has the pressure of some PSOE barons such as the Castilian-La Mancha Emiliano Garcia Page or the extremeño Guillermo Fernandez Vara. In fact, the vice president of Castilla-La Mancha, Jose Luis Martinez Guijarrowent so far as to say that “thanks to Page’s efforts, the Government of Spain is going to exclude the hunting sector from the Animal welfare“.
This does not make any sense, because with this amendment the PSOE is defending the privilege of a minority sector, that of hunters, to be above the law. That is to say, they defend that a hunting license (which can be obtained for free in any Autonomous Community) gives you immunity when it comes to mistreating animals.
It is important to note that the Animal Protection law is a law that promotes good practices and prevents bad ones. In other words, hunters who care about the welfare of their dogs should have no objection to the law being applied to them on an equal footing with other animal owners.
The hunting federation has celebrated the exclusion of hunting dogs from the Animal Welfare law. The president of the Spanish Hunting Federation, Manuel Gallardohas asked Can that “stop disguising as animal welfare a law with which they only want to continue living on public money and have a presence in social organizations, and for this they have created the hoax that animals are unprotected.”
The data is compelling. According to animal and animal rescue associations, about 50,000 greyhounds are abandoned each year, many of them coinciding with the end of the hunting season. This figure represents almost half of the total number of abandoned dogs in Spain, which reaches 114,000. In addition, hunting dogs are the most vulnerable according to data from the Civil Guard: Around 40% of the dogs affected by some type of animal abuse are greyhounds or other hunting dogs.
And if we look at the cases of robberies, hunting dogs are also the most affected, and accumulate 80% of thefts. These figures for abandonment, mistreatment and theft of hunting dogs are very high, taking into account that, according to the Federation of Hunters of the European Union, only 2% of the population has a hunting license. Despite this, (attention), it is the hunters who are presenting themselves as victims of a campaign of animal violence.
Spain is the only country in the European Union where hunting with greyhounds and hounds is still allowed. The new animal protection law will not go that far (because it will not end hunting), but what it did intend (at least before the amendment) was to protect hunting dogs, guaranteeing their well-being as that of any other dog.
According to the report Sensitization of Spanish society regarding animal rights(carried out last July by the company ipsos), 92% of the population believes it is necessary to implement legislation to protect animals, 69% are against the mistreatment of wild animals and 73% want to preserve the rights of animals used for hunting. It is interesting to see the results of the vote recall survey. Unsurprisingly, left-wing party voters show greater concern for animal welfare, but right-wing voters also overwhelmingly see themselves as animal rights advocates.
Specifically, 82% of voters in United We Can 76% within the PSOE, 75% in the PP and 62% in VOX consider themselves concerned about the protection of animals. And even more, according to the survey, the degree of acceptance of the hunt, which does not reach 20% among center-left voters, is only 30% among right-wing voters.