Animal protection under discussion

Among the most controversial measures is the protection of cat colonies and the implementation of the Capture, Sterilize and Return (CER) method, in addition to the positive list, which would include the species allowed for importation, maintenance, breeding and trade as pet animals, as defined in the previous draft published by the Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda.

The animal law lawyer of the organization of legal operators for animals Intercids, Cristina Bécares, has clarified, in relation to the treatment of cats, that finally “the sterilization of all cats under six months living in any home is planned , that of any colony cat and of animals that are subject to adoption” so that “uncontrolled breeding” of this species can be controlled. “This law is necessary,” stressed the person in charge of the WWF species program, Laura Moreno, who, although she is in favor of some sections of the draft, considers that “it has several aspects to improve.”

Regarding these feline colonies, he has indicated that most of the allegations made by the WWF to the March draft had to do with them and the “impact they cause on biodiversity.” “The regulations are protecting these colonies”, but according to Moreno “there are areas where this is not enough” and, even though they are sterilized, “they continue to hunt in certain highly valuable environments with protected species.”

Likewise, the president of the Valencian Herpetological Society and member of Fauna, Txema López, considers that this law “seems to be written from a purely moral point of view, not so much based on scientific criteria”, and has insisted on the “elimination” of these colonies that “are causing serious problems” with species such as birds or lizards, especially “ending” with natives in the Canary Islands, he explained.

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On the other hand, he has also criticized the introduction of a positive list, since, according to López, it can “encourage the trafficking of species”, which become illegal by being left off the list and “receiving consideration of prohibited gender” causing the species to not reproduce.

According to the text, “all protected species in some way will not be able to be on that positive list”, he stressed, insisting that it could become an “economic and social debacle of very large proportions” taking into account that “Spain is a great producer» of birds of prey and parrots, among other species, and that would harm, in turn, the workers who dedicate themselves to it.

Laura Moreno, however, has highlighted from WWF that this list seems to them “a good thing” with respect to the limitation of species to have as pets, but also clarifying that it is something “difficult to elaborate” since aspects such as “the impacts that animals may have on biodiversity”.

Bécares, for his part, considers that there are other measures to improve such as “certain situations that could be specified a little more”, such as the time that an animal can be tied up or on a balcony, or even the distinction between pet dogs, hunting, livestock and herding dogs, when the owner has to go through a training course. “In the end, the obligations regarding dogs are the same for all dogs,” according to the Intercids representative.

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