Madrid Hardens Its Feathers For Animal Abuse

Madrid hardens penalties for animal abuse

Finally, what animal lovers wanted so much began to take effect in Spain.  Everyone is outraged by the fact that those who cause irreparable damage to animals and even cause their death get away with impunity. So we are very happy for this news.

We had already heard about the ban on bullfighting, more than 400,000 signatures were collected against this practice. But this initiative also called for a tightening of laws against animal abuse, without differentiating whether these are wild or domestic animals.

Despite the Spanish bullfighters asking that the bullfights continue, claiming a Spanish cultural symbol, they did not succeed in their request, something of which we are very happy. But in addition to this, there were other gains:  The new Penal Code reform tightened penalties for animal abuse.  Let’s look at the changes.

What were the penalties for animal abuse?

animal abuse

Previously, if we talk about article 337 of the Spanish Penal Code,  the laws stipulated fines of small economic value for those who gave samples of mistreatment against animals. 

So, accordingly, anyone who harmed an animal, even if it cruelly took its life, went unpunished. This caused extreme impotence among those who love animals and even cases of justice with their own hands, providing “justice” outside the law, but where the “aggressor” was always free and with his record clean.

This became an unsustainable situation that different animal lover organizations fought for and finally achieved a change. This change in law took effect on December 22, 2015 and, although our animals are not safe, at least they are safer, at least in Spanish territory. Understand:

What have been the changes in penalties for animal abuse?

The change in penalties for animal abuse was basically to eliminate the word “hate” from Article 337 of the Penal Code. Now, anyone who harms an animal, whether hateful or not, will have to take the consequences. Article 337 of the Penal Code says exactly like this:

337.1. That, by any means or procedure, unjustifiably mistreat:

  1. a) a domestic or domesticated animal.
  2. b) an animal that is habitually domesticated.
  3. c) an animal that temporarily or permanently lives under human control.
  4. d) any animal that does not live in the wild, causing injuries that seriously undermine its health, will be punished with a penalty of three months to one year of imprisonment and special disqualification from one to three years to exercise a profession, trade or trade that is related to animals and for the possession of domestic or domestic animals.

In the following sub 337 it is explained that if someone causes the death of an animal, the penalty will be up to eighteen months and this will prevent the possession of any type of animal.

Mistreatment of an animal in front of a minor will also be punished and there will be a six-month penalty for those who abandon them.

Is this change in penalties for animal abuse sufficient?

cat and dog

Despite our joy, we cannot delude ourselves that this “little change” will be enough. Although there have been changes in the laws stipulated in the Penal Code, this article also explains that if a person without a record causes any harm to an animal, it will not go to jail, and may post bail for its release.

So, in short, no one will be subject to these penalties for animal abuse unless they repeatedly abuse an animal. So is this enough? The answer is clear: No.

Now, this is a sample that unity is strength and that if we continue united and fighting for the same cause, we can change things, although these changes are made little by little and at first seem small.

So what can we do? Possibly not all of us can join an NGO or be an activist in some demonstration, but there is something we can all do: denounce.

Yes, fear not, if you see a case of animal abuse, report it. Don’t let such an act go unnoticed in the eyes of the law when you can do something. Nobody wants a world without animals for their own children.

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