Canarian Government drafting new animal protection legislation

The Canarian Government is adding to its animal protection legislation by updating its 1991 Ley de Protección y Tenencia de Animales de Compañía to include a ban on cockfighting in the islands, not covered by current legislation. The proposed legislation will also include a ban on any shows involving animals, like circuses. Government minister José Miguel Barragán said that such bloody traditions were an anachronism and had no place in a modern evolved society, and that it was necessary now to move towards eradicating them.

I know people will say “but they need to enforce existing legislation”, and others will pick up on the fact that the ban is going to be introduced in stages, but it is important not to underestimate what the regional Government is doing in these respects. Enforcement does take place, as for example happened earlier this year with the breaking up of a dog fighting ring, and the Canaries was the first autonomous region in Spain to ban bullfighting back in the 1991 Law. Barragán said that the new law will give official recognition to the social advances being made in the way people view animal welfare.

The law will also look at limiting the maximum number of pets an individual can have, something not currently regulated but which the Government says might need to be defined for the welfare of both animals and neighbours of those with several animals.

The new legislation will now go through the usual institutional and administrative processes of reports, public information and hearings, referral to Treasury etc. It will then go to Advisory Committee, after which the draft Law will return to the Government for presentation to Parliament. It will be a little while yet, but little by little, animal protection is increasing in these islands.

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