Thanks to a citizens’ initiative brought to the government, a fine of up to 30,000 euros against anyone who mistreats or abandons a dog or a cat on the street has been approved.
This sanction is part of an amendment to the law on the protection of domestic animals and also prohibits shelters from killing animals for non-medical reasons, because some do it now if they are not adopted within 10 or 20 days of their arrival.
This is an important step forward for the Spanish society, because currently in the country 140 000 dogs are abandoned each year. With this measure, Spain will join a list of countries that have taken legal action against animal abandonment and abuse.
For a complete list of offenses that may result in a fine, click here.
Sanctions against animal abuse in different countries
- United Kingdom: The first country to describe the abuse of animals as a crime in the early 20th century. The legislation recognizes fundamental freedoms of animals (food, comfort, health and well-being). The British Wild Mammals Protection Act (1996) punishes animal abuse with a fine and up to six months’ imprisonment.
- Germany: up to three years imprisonment for those who mistreat animals.
- Switzerland: Cruel and intentional abuse is punishable by up to 3 years and a fine of up to 20,000 Swiss francs.
- France: The maximum penalty for animal abuse is two years imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros. They punish sexual or serious cruelty and acts of cruelty, including abandonment.
- United States: the rules are different. New York imposes $ 1,000 fine or one-year prison sentence for torture, mistreatment or abandonment of an animal that results in death and can reach $ 5,000 when sadistic or sexual practices are included In Alabama, the largest conviction for animal aggression against a man accused of 75 counts of cruelty to animals and fraud was pronounced against him, he was sentenced for 99 years in prison.
- Australia: one of the most advanced laws. It punishes the abandonment of domestic animals with penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of US $ 100,000.
- Uruguay: since 2014, a law against animal abuse considered avant-garde. Establishes penalties of up to 2 years in prison for those who kill a pet, and fines of up to 68,800 pesos for abuse; and also prohibits circuses with animals and zoos in some cases.
- Colombia: Since 2015, fines for acts of cruelty and mistreatment of animals cost up to 60 minimum monthly wages and prison sentences range from 12 to 36 months.
- Peru: Since 2015, the Congress of Peru has imposed sanctions for animal abuse. Convictions of up to 5 years in prison.
- Mexico: Since 2014, a law punishing with prison sentences of 6 months to 2 years and 50 to 100 times the minimum wage of people who abuse animals has entered into force.
- Egypt: The intentional killing or mistreatment of an animal is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment, but without a fine.
Yes, it’s true, there is still a lot to do, but it’s a good start. Other countries are also taking measures such as closing zoos, banning circuses with animals and banning sport hunting.
We must continue to fight for animal rights!