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Home / 45 protests in Spain for the end of hunting with dogs

45 protests in Spain for the end of hunting with dogs


Tens of thousands of people protested against hunting with dogs in 45 Spanish and other 18 European cities last Sunday. CAS International and AnimaNaturalis participated in several cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Logroño and Zaragoza. The protests are taking place just days before the Spanish congress votes on the new animal welfare law. Unfortunately, hunting dogs have been removed from the protection of the law.

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© CAS International/AnimaNaturalis

The protests in Spain were organized by Plataforma No a la Caza. The chosen date of 5 February is certainly no coincidence: early February marks the end of the hunting season in Spain. That is when more than 50,000 greyhounds (galgos), podencos and other hunting dogs are dumped and/or killed en masse when they are no longer suitable for hunting. Spanish legislation hardly protects these dogs. Hunting dogs have even been removed from the bill for a new national animal welfare law after pressure from the hunting sector.

Foto: CAS International/AnimaNaturalis

New animal welfare law

Spain is set to vote on its first national animal welfare law this week, and hunting dogs are left out. It is a remarkable situation: the ruling parties PSOE and Unidas Podemos jointly presented this bill to the council of ministers, which then approved it. The hunting sector then threatened that the socialists would lose the state elections in the rural areas because of this move. Hunters framed the bill as an attack on rural life in Spain. And that threat became reality in Andalusia’s last elections: the socialists lost dramatically. After this, the PSOE – with the support of opposition parties – deleted hunting dogs from the bill.

CAS is concerned about the removal of hunting dogs from the bill. Still, we hope the new animal welfare law will be passed. A national law will have a positive impact on other issues involving animal suffering, such as bullfighting and hunting.

50,000 hunting dogs discarded

February is the month when Spanish hunting dogs are discarded by hunters. They are run over, hung from trees, thrown into pits; the fortunate dogs are abandoned and end up in shelters. Shelters fill up with abandoned dogs. A small proportion of hunters themselves bring their hunting dogs to the shelter.

CAS has worked intensively with Spanish organization AnimaNaturalis over the past two years to improve the welfare of these dogs. For instance, we conduct research and lobby for the protection of hunting dogs by law. In 2022, we conducted research on kennels at hunters in 29 different locations. We found hunting dogs sitting in their own faeces and depending on dirty water in their drinking troughs. According to the vets who participated in our study, the dogs exhibited behaviour resulting from prolonged captivity. Chains also restricted animals’ movement and showed signs of poor health.

Please sign our petition for a better protection of dogs used to hunt in Spain!

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