More animal protection and less demagoguery, by Sandra Guaita

Much has been written and spoken in recent days about the draft animal protection law that the Government is working on, and I think it is good that it is done. The problem comes when the vision that is being given of the bill is a distorted or intentionally wrong vision.

We are all aware that the treatment given to animals in our country is still far from ethical standards or the vision that is had in other countries of the European Union. For example, we have the unfortunate honor of being one of the countries in Europe where more pets are abandoned. In fact, in Spain a dog is abandoned every five minutes.

But also, cases of animal abuse have increased during the pandemic, so it seems clear that prevention is not working, but probably neither are the penalties.

It is evident that animal sensitivity has been changing a lot in recent years and cases such as Teguise or Vivotecnia, as recent examples, are strongly rejected by much of society.

Seeing how far we are still from European standards in animal protection and welfare and taking into account the growing sensitivity of animals, we believe it is necessary to develop a regulation that functions as an umbrella for regional laws, and that guarantees equitable protection throughout the territory.

We are advanced, empathetic and committed societies and we have a legal and moral obligation to legislate to protect the planet and to protect the animals with which we live. In this sense, we have already approved the law on climate change and energy transition and now we have to advance in animal protection.

We are going to develop the animal protection law seeking consensus with civil society and with the rest of the parliamentary groups to achieve a standard worthy of the 21st century and that will last over time. Because if we have already been able to legislate with consensus modifying the change of the civil code so that animals are considered sentient beings and not things, now we have to move forward and go further to protect animals.

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We are legislatively committed and we will also be in the General State Budgets for 2022, where an item of six million euros is already incorporated to guarantee animal welfare. So we not only commit ourselves with words, but we commit ourselves with deeds.

Enough demagogy and falsehoods about animal protection, it is time that we face this issue with courage and at the level of what society demanded. It is time for us to legislate with respect, for the society of the present but also as references of the society of the future.

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