The protest in Madrid. / E.P.

Demonstrators in Spain say new animal welfare law must protect hunting dogs

Protesters want the law to apply to all animals, pointing out that hunting dogs are often treated cruelly and should not be excluded from the text

E.P. Seville

Thousands of people took part in demonstrations in Spain on Sunday to demand that hunting dogs be included in the forthcoming animal protection law, the final text of which is currently being decided.

In Andalucía, protesters took to the streets in Seville, Algeciras, Cordoba, Jaén and Malaga, to join the movement to ensure that the law is applied to all types of dog, with no exceptions.

A manifesto read out in each town or city where the demonstrations took place said that the law needs to be “really useful and adapted to the times,” and that means that dogs used for hunting, which are often treated cruelly, must not be excluded. “They deserve exactly the same protection as all the others,” the statement said, because there should not be “second-class” dogs.

Too many exclusions, protesters say

“We are here because the Animal Protection Law started out by excluding animals tortured during bullfighting, wild animals, those kept in overcrowded and unprotected conditions on farms and animals used in experiments, and if it is approved in its present form it will also exclude many more, including hunting dogs, guard dogs, sheepdogs and rescue and assistance dogs, as well as horses used for different purposes, donkey-taxis, dolphins, whales, birds of prey, ferrets used for hunting and even pigeons, as pigeon shooting will still be allowed,” the manifesto said.

The president of the Partido Animalista political party, Javier Luna, said in Madrid that there is still time for the government to modify the text so that the law protects all animals and none are abandoned in the hands of those who can exploit them with impunity.