Spain. Change in the legal status of animals

According to new law presented by the ruling left-wing PSOE, it becomes the owners’ duty to ensure animal welfare “according to the characteristics of each species”.

The measures indicated by the judge in the case divorce will be dictated not only by the changing situation of the spouses and the needs of the children, but also “new needs of companion animals”. In addition, the court will take into account the spouses’ participation in costs of keeping and caring for the animal, the distribution of time spent with him, and will decide his fate in the event of a disagreement between the spouses, “taking into account both the interests of the divorcing couple and the animal’s welfare.”

Under the reform of the Civil Code, judges will decide whether to stay minor children with their parents incl. from perspective treatment of domestic animals and a court may, for example, refuse joint custody of the children to a spouse who has previously been convicted of animal abuse. The justification states that cruelty to Animals can be used as a form of psychological abuse and indirect abuse in a family environment, both towards minors and their partner.

Pets can also be included in wills. In the event of the death of one of the owners, if the latter does not leave a will, the court will decide on the fate of the animal, always guided by its welfare.

In line with the reform of the mortgage law, farm, household or recreational animals, cannot be covered by a mortgageand, according to the new law of civil procedure, animals cannot be seized as payment for the owners’ debts.

The owners and those who live with the pet also have the right claim compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the event of injury to a pet“which resulted in his death or serious impairment of his physical or mental health”.

The opposition right-wing People’s Party (PP) has criticized the new legislation as equating the welfare of a pet with that of the rest of the family, including children. – It’s an animal ideologywhich Vox does not share – said in turn the deputy of the right-wing populist party Jose Maria Sanchez Garcia.

The reform that recognized animals as sentient beings evoked in the course of its development more and more controversy. There are numerous comments and remarks on the new law in Spanish social networks.

IN Portugal, as in Spain, animals are not “things” but “living beings with feelings”. The authorities of this country already in 2017 approved an amendment to the Civil Code, according to which judges must include pets in divorce, inheritance and childcare. The law also provides specific rules for the living conditions of Portuguese pets.

According to them, the permissible number of pets in an apartment must not exceed three adult dogs or four adult cats. The maximum number of adult dogs and cats can be six, but a positive decision must be made by the municipal veterinarian and local authority.

Civil codes of European countries contain provisions that specifically relate to the legal status of animals. For example, Art. 90a of the German Civil Code states that “animals are not things, they are protected by special rights”, but “are subject to the provisions relating to things, unless otherwise stated”.

Similar provisions are in the law Austrian, Swiss, Dutch and Czech.

Similarly, the article of the 1st Polish The Animal Protection Act recognizes that “an animal, as a living being capable of suffering, is not a thing.”

IN Swedish Under the Civil Code, pets have the status of “movables”. Consequently, in the event of divorce, they are treated like other valuables. There are cases where the spouses voluntarily agree on alternating care of the pet.

IN Great Britain There is a law in place to recognize animals as sentient beings and to set up an animal-sentiment committee to advise on any future animal welfare legislation. Importantly, not only vertebrates are considered animals there, but also cephalopods (e.g. octopus, cuttlefish) and some shellfish (e.g. crabs, lobsters, prawns, crayfish).

The law of many countries still accepts that animals are things or property, incl. In United States and Australia.


About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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