The parliamentary group of PSOE, the socialist party in power in Spain, has presented an amendment to the new animal protection bill (so far supported by the Government) that will cease the protection of hunting dogs if it is passed. The Parliamentary Association in Defense of Animal Rights (APDDA) has expressed its “indignation” with the amendment and demands its immediate withdrawal.
In the official note exposing their position, APDDA stated, “The passage of a national animal protection law is one of APDDA’s founding goals since our constitution in December 2007. After many years of work, in this legislature, the conditions are finally given so that this objective can be met, which should guarantee a basic level of protection for the various Autonomous Communities… The amendment presented by the PSOE, written to the dictate of the powerful hunting lobby, is not only a serious mutilation of the Bill but also a setback in animal protection, by lowering the bar set in the 17 regional laws. No regional law excludes hunting dogs or other animals used in human activities. Moreover, they are recognized as companion animals, regardless of the function they may fulfil. It is inconceivable and inadmissible that a national law could be passed denying hunting dogs that status.”
Spain is formed by 17 autonomic regions with their own animal protection laws, and the new bill was intended to go further in such protection. However, although it may do this on the issues of zoos and circuses, it may go in the opposite direction on the issue of hunting dogs. The abandonment and killing of greyhounds (galgos) after being used for hunting is one of the major animal protection problems of the country, but, like in many other countries, the hunting lobby is powerful, and now has shown how much it can influence the parties in power.