Spain Passes New Animal Cruelty Law

Spain has passed its first animal welfare law, along with an amendment to the penal code imposing harsher penalties for animal cruelty. The law makes it obligatory for anyone adopting a dog to undergo training and imposes a ban on leaving a dog alone for more than twenty-four-hours. Owners must also sterilize cats in an effort to control overpopulation and abandonment. Changes to the penal code stipulate up to three years in prison if an animal dies due to "aggravating factors" and up to eighteen months if the animal requires veterinary treatment. The law mainly concerns pets and does not include animals raised for slaughter, nor does it cover hunting dogs.