Pets and wild animals get their voice in Spain

Yvonne O'Halloran

Animal-rights activists in Spain are now able to celebrate a victory they have been fighting for for years now. 

Four years after the bill was proposed, the Congress of Deputies finally approved it. Spain will no longer consider pets and wild animals as “objects”. 

Under Spain’s criminal code animals were already seen as sentient beings, but not yet under their civil code. The new legislation will now consider them sentient under both of the codes.

The difference between the two is that their civil code has to do with conflicts around family and property. 

This new law will give both pets and wild animals more legal protection, though the law is more centered around family pets and domesticated animals. Part of the law’s aim is to honor the bond that family and animals have together. 

Under the law, residents of Spain will not be able to capture, mistreat, or abandon animals. This is a significant change given that around 200,000 are abandoned each year in Spain. In cases of divorce, the pet’s physical and mental well-being will be taken into account. 

This is a huge step forward in the justice for animals and giving them a voice they didn’t have before. 

Article written by Kristin Mattia- United States

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