This is how the mastiffs are going to retire: fines of up to 30,000 euros to wayward farmers

The generous bearing of the mastiff, a livestock guardian dog, is becoming increasingly visible in rural Galicia due to its use against wolf attacks, which have spread in recent years while the functions of these dogs, whose number already achieves the almost 19,000 registered in the breed registry of the Department of the Environment. Now, those 18,703 Galician mastiffs (of Spanish and Leonese breed), which were already traditional on the farms, They will be able to ‘retire’ from the age of 7 by virtue of the draft Law on Protection and Rights of animals prepared by the Government. The measure is not without controversy because, among other issues, requires a veterinary report that must annually assess the animal’s health status, with the costs that this entails if you want the dog to continue working after seven years. And non-compliance with this rule appears typified with a possible sanction ranging from 600 to 30,000 euros.

“The retirement age will be determined by a veterinary professional, taking into account the physical and psychological capacities of the dog, having to issue a fitness and well-being report every year from the dog’s seven years of age so that it can maintain activity & rdquor; , says the legislative project verbatim. In addition, the treatment is monitored since its ‘childhood’: they will not be able to work until 18 months. This is precisely another of the open fronts since the mastiffs are “trained & rdquor; from puppies in their functions of shepherd dog. This, together with the 200 to 400 euros GPS devices that shepherd dogs will require in the high mountains, explains the head of a Galician wildlife control company Manuel Calvo, which considers this legislative draft “an absurdity & rdquor ;. It advances that there is already a platform for those affected – between pet shops and the auxiliary sector – that is being formed in Galicia to mobilize against this law.

Among the animals entitled to retirement are also horses, whose starting age for dressage will be 4 years, judging by the text: “No equine may be used in professional activities until they have reached four years of age & rdquor ;. This epigraph is also controversial because there are supporters that foals gradually get used to saddles. Likewise, although their ‘retirement’ age could be extended to 23 years, the horses must be examined by veterinarians from the age of 15 and it will be determined “taking into account the physical and psychological capacities of the animal, having to issue a report of fitness and well-being every year from fifteen years of age, and every six months from eighteen to twenty-three years of the animal so that it can maintain activity & rdquor ;.

Also the rural development manager of the Unións Agrarias union, Jacobo Feijoo, criticizes that this law is carried out “by people of the city, for people of the city & rdquor ;, and with ignorance of the reality of rural Galician. For example, domestic chicken coops would be left in ‘legal limbo’, according to wildlife experts. They are not domestic animals, nor are they cared for by licensed breeders. And there are points that are difficult to comply with, such as the one that follows: “The necessary measures will have to be adopted to avoid the uncontrolled reproduction of companion animals. Animals that are kept or have access to the outside of the houses and may have uncontrolled contact with other animals, must be sterilized. In the event that in the same home or location there are animals of the same species and of different sexes, at least all members of one of the sexes must be sterilized, except in the case of breeders registered in the National Registry of Breeders & rdquor; .

Irregular euthanasia

The requirements when euthanizing an animal are a matter in which they repair the state regulations that are now being processed and the regional regulations that are already in force. Likewise, it is classified as a very serious sanction to practice euthanasia by unqualified personnel or with inadequate means in both. While the sanctions range from 100,000 to 600,000 euros in the central government regulations; In the Galician law of 2017 the fines amount between 5,001 to 30,000 euros.

To review only those that are considered very serious infractions in this project, it would be to kill an animal or cause serious permanent sequelae “intentionally & rdquor ;, as well as the unauthorized sacrifice of animals; the euthanasia of animals with inadequate means or by unqualified personnel and the training and use of animals for fights and fights.

It would also be considered a very serious offense “the use of companion animals for human consumption or other animals & rdquor ;, the” hunting use & rdquor; community cats and feed the animals with viscera, carcasses and other offal from animals that have not passed health controls.

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  • Serious offenses (fines from 30,001 to 100,000 euros):

    Recklessly killing or causing serious permanent sequelae to the animal.

    Failure to comply with the obligations to identify the animal.

    The unauthorized use of aggressive or violent methods in the education of the animal.

    The breeding, trade and exhibition for commercial purposes by unauthorized breeders and in pet shops, excluding fish.

    The administration of substances that harm animals or alter their behavior.

    The use of animals in activities prohibited in this Law, particularly in cultural and festive activities as well as in mechanical attractions, fairground carousels and the use of wildlife species in circus shows.

    Abandon the animal.

    Performing unauthorized mutilations or body modifications to the animal i) Using animals as an object of reward, prize, raffle or promotion.

    Using animals as an advertising claim without authorization.

    Raise non-native wild animals as well as trade with them, except in the cases provided for in this law.

    Sending live animals by mail or courier, except in the cases provided for in this law.

  • Very serious offenses (fines from 100,001 to 600,000 euros):

    Killing an animal or causing serious permanent sequelae on purpose.

    The unauthorized slaughter of animals.

    The euthanasia of animals with inadequate means or by unqualified personnel.

    The training and use of animals for fights and fights with other animals or people.

    The use of companion animals for human or other animal consumption.

    The hunting use of community cats.

    Feed the animals with viscera, carcasses and other offal from animals that have not passed the appropriate health controls.

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