Pet owners in Spain can breathe a sigh of relief as the Spanish government has officially acknowledged that various regulations within the new Animal Welfare Law, initially slated for enforcement on September 29, are not yet ready and will be postponed.
This announcement comes in the wake of widespread confusion regarding specific provisions, particularly those pertaining to civil liability insurance for dogs and online training courses.
In an official statement released on Thursday, September 14, the General Directorate of Animal Rights conceded that certain elements of the legislation "in purely legal terms, are not effectively applicable until the regulatory development of said provisions is clarified, in accordance with the provisions thereof." The Ministry also noted the influx of inquiries from concerned pet owners.
These regulations will be enforced once the associated issues are resolved, but there is an additional hurdle. An interim government, such as the current one, lacks the authority to enact new legislation. Therefore, the new regulations cannot be approved until a new national president is elected and a cabinet is formed. The timeline for this remains uncertain.
The following aspects of the Animal Welfare Law will not be implemented on September 29:
1. Liability Insurance
Under the new law, all dog owners are required to obtain civil liability insurance for their pets to cover damages to third parties. The forthcoming regulation should specify the required coverage based on dog type. For potentially dangerous dogs (PPP), there is already an existing rule, dating back to 2002, which mandates a minimum coverage of 120,000 euros.
2. Training Courses
The training course for dog ownership also requires regulatory clarification. At present, it is known that the course will be provided free of charge and will have indefinite validity. According to the Animal Welfare Law, this course aims to "facilitate responsible animal ownership by addressing the absence of knowledge in pet management, care, and ownership."
3. Positive Pet List
The government intends to compile an extensive list of animals, beyond dogs, cats, and ferrets, that are permitted as pets in Spain. This list should encompass birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, fish, primates, and more. However, the list is currently far from complete.
It is estimated that approximately two years will be required for this section of the law to be enacted. Once in effect, species not included on the list will not be allowed in private homes. Individuals possessing animals not listed are required to notify the competent authority within six months, but for now, this regulation will not be enforced.
September 26, 2023
September 22, 2023