Valencia, EFE).- Les Corts Valencianes will approve this Thursday the Valencian law for the protection, well-being and possession of companion animals, which, unlike the norm that is being processed at the state level, does include hunting dogs, along with grazing, rescue or guide dogs.
The Valencian law, which includes the “zero sacrifice” and contemplates sanctions of up to 45,000 euros, has passed its last debate this Wednesday, in which the three parties that support the Government -PSPV, Compromís and Unides Podem- have defended the law as necessary, since the current norm is from 1994, and an advance in the protection of animals.
On the contrary, the opposition has advanced that, despite the fact that they have accepted many amendments, they will not support the law, considering that it could be unconstitutional with the state law that is finally approved, which is a “threat” to the rural world due to the obligations, prohibitions and sanctions that it includes, and it lacks funding to apply it.
One of the points of conflict not only between the opposition and the government parties, but also within the latter, has been the standard treatment of hunting dogs, which have finally been included along with the animals that make “specific activities” and it has been regulated that if at that moment they suffer any injury it will not be mistreatment.
Socialist deputy David Calvo has defended that “common sense” has been applied by regulating these dogs as animals with “specific functions” but without treating them as “second-class dogs”, but instead giving them “special consideration” when they are working , so that if they are then attacked by a wild boar or break a leg, it is not considered mistreatment.
Compromís deputy Cristina Rodríguez, has described as “shameful” that state law has excluded hunting dogs, a sector “quite related to abuse”, and Beatriu Gascó (Unides Podem) has stressed that it is not a law ” anti-hunting”, for which he has lamented the “pressure” of the hunting federations and the “homage” of the right and the Socialist Party to this “economic lobby”.
From the opposition, the deputy of the PP Elisa Díaz has indicated that the law has “important insurmountable fringes” that have made “the rural world speak out against” a rule that will mean “impairment” of hunting activity and in the that they are “unprotected”, because depending on how the “fine print” is applied, it can lead to a “persecution” of hunters.
The deputy of Ciudadanos Eduardo del Pozo has considered that it would be necessary to wait for the approval of the national law to approve the Valencian one, or it will be “full of incompatibilities”, and José Luis Aguirre (Vox) has considered that this law contains “disproportionate” sanctions. It will be unconstitutional and will have to be repealed.
The hunting federation and animalists
The last process of this law after several months of debate has been followed from the guest rostrum by representatives of the Hunting Federation of the Valencian Community and animal organizations, such as AnimaNaturalis.
The president of the Hunting Federation, Lorena Martínez, explained that the amendments that were initially presented prioritized “anti-hunting ideologies” and meant, in practice, the prohibition of hunting with dogs, although it has finally been achieved that it is not considered mistreatment if in the exercise of the activity, just like a police dog, they suffer injuries.
In his opinion, the Valencian norm will have to be changed when the state one is approved, because for example the definition of abuse is different, and for this reason they had asked that Les Corts wait so that there was no “interference”, but the answer was that ” yes or yes it had to be approved”.
However, the director in Spain of AnimaNaturalis Aïda Gascón has considered that the Valencian norm is “one of the most advanced” at the state level right now and has described as “very positive” that the Valencian socialists decided to include hunting dogs in the protection provided by this law and consider them companion dogs.
He has highlighted that, although the moment of hunting activity is excluded from mistreatment, they are protected outside of it, since they cannot be permanently tied up or only registered breeders can breed these dogs, and he has defended that the state law is basic, not a framework law, so “there is no contradiction” with regional regulations.
Other aspects of the law
Valencian law considers pets as “sentient beings”; it establishes “zero sacrifice”, since it will only be allowed in case of irreversible injuries and not due to overcrowding or lack of places in a reception center; and regulates the full identification and traceability of these animals to eradicate abandonment
Regarding the prohibitions, the norm prohibits giving pets as prizes; display them in commercial premises not dedicated to the sale of animals; give them an aggressive or violent education or prepare them for fights; wear punishment collars; the breeding and sale between individuals, or the use of animals in circus shows.
In addition, it requires the sterilization of abandoned animals and feline colonies, and establishes that within a maximum period of two years from the entry into force of the law, an autonomous registry of people disqualified from keeping pets by judicial sentence or administrative resolution.