Pigeon shooting will become illegal. / AFP

Spain's new animal rights law bans pigeon shooting, zoos and dolphinariums

However, the text does not make any reference to bulls or bullfighting, although government sources have said a last-minute modification could be possible

DOMÉNICO CHIAPPE Madrid

Spain’s new animal rights law is due to be approved this Monday afternoon and it includes more severe penalties for anyone who mistreats any vertebrate animal. It also stipulates that domestic pets may not be sacrificed unless for sanitary reasons or illness, owners have to have official identification for their pets and breeders must be on an official register.

The new regulation also makes it illegal for dogs, cats and ferrets to be sold in pet shops, but it does leave the door open for ways to control invasive or wild species which could be a threat to native species or are unsuited for coexistence with humans.

The law also bans the use of wild animals in circuses and activities in which animals could be damaged or killed, such as cockfights and pigeon shooting.

However, the text does not make any reference to bulls or bullfighting, although government sources have said a last-minute modification could be possible.

Three years in prison

All zoos and dolphinariums will now have to be converted into 'centres for the recovery of native species', and the penalties for ill-treating an animal will be more severe than they have been so far, with up to two years in prison if the animal dies and up to three years if there is more than one aggravating circumstance.

This applies to all vertebrate animals, including those such as wild boar who have not been covered by the regulations before now.