Animals stop being things to be considered "sentient" beings subject to law

Animals stop being things to be considered

Until now, the Civil Code considered that animals were one more “movable property” that could be seized from its owner as if it were a car or a TV.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the Spanish Congress debated a bill by the Popular Party to reform three regulations related to the status of animals.

All the parties communicated their favorable vote to the proposal presented by the popular deputy Avelino de Barrionuevo, although several showed their amazement at the sudden interest of the PP in animals. Many believed that the law could be more ambitious and, logically, the controversial issue of bulls came up. “If now they are sentient beings, doesn't a bull feel?”, Said the PDeCAT representative, Sergi Miquel. While several cities have banned bullfighting, the Popular Party persists in maintaining this practice as part of Spanish culture and heritage.

Juan López de Uralde, from Unidos Podemos also recalled that the PP on one occasion came to defend the amputation of the tail of dogs arguing the "dangerousness of the bullwhip effect."

The Ciudadanos party strongly supported. "If there are no dogs in heaven, when I die I want to go among them," declared his deputy Guillermo Díaz. He also recalled that there are 140,000 animals abandoned each year in Spain or that individuals who fell a wild boar in Asturias will not have any penalty. The PSOE provided another piece of information: 40% of households have a pet and an average of 1,200 euros a year is spent to keep it.

The rules to reform are: Civil Code, Mortgage Law and Civil Procedure Law. Until now, in Spain animals are considered mere things, a "movable property", such as a television or a car, which can be seized from its owner, and your dog ends up in a shelter without being able to be claimed.

One of the peculiarities of the amendment is the introduction of rules relating to matrimonial crises. With the new rule, precepts are introduced to specify the custody regime for companion animals. It means that a judge will make the decision of who to deliver the care of the animal to after a divorce, a situation that previously did not have legal support.

For the Animalista Party (PACMA), the law is poor. Animals "will continue to be property, they can be bought and sold, they can be used in shows and they can be exploited on farms, they will continue to be things." In this line, part of the opposition suggested new measures to the PP, if it is really serious, such as lowering the VAT of veterinarians, eliminating the declaration of a good of cultural interest from bullfighting shows, suspending subsidies to those shows and prohibiting the entry of children, or stop the importation of animals of doubtful legality.

With information from:

Video: Christine Korsgaard, Interacting with Animals: A Kantian Account (July 2021).