Gran Canaria’s Pet Plan recommendations

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria’s Veterinary College census of animal shelters and pet boarding facilities during the formulation of their proposals for the new Pet Plan (Plan de Mascotas), part of the latest initiative to better regulate and improve animal welfare and legislation, accounted for six municipal shelters and 34 properly authorised private kennels on the island, although they may not all be functioning. Apart from the Insular refuge, Albergue de Bañaderos, which receives abandoned dogs and cats from 19 municipalities, all except Mogán and Agüimes where there are authorised municipal establishments, there are also municipal facilities in La Aldea, Santa Brigida, Santa Lucía and Telde. Of the 34 private facilities, four are in Agüimes, four in Arucas, two in Gáldar, eight in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, five are in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, two in Santa María de Guía, five in Telde, and one each in Santa Brigida , Teror, Valleseco and San Mateo. The Cabildo has already begun a change of model at its own centre at Bañaderos, which until two months ago had been managed by a private foundation.

The Pet Plan for the Island of Gran Canaria, prepared by the Official Association of Veterinarians of Las Palmas on behalf of the Cabildo, proposes fines of up to €15,025 for the mistreatment of domestic animals, and notes that the number of dog and cat abandonments I s “extremely high”, more than double the rate found in the biggest Spanish cities.

To address the problem of abandonment and harm to animals, the Cabildo’s Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for joint action by public administrations and measures such as “awareness campaigns, tightening legislation, fines and sanctions, and training or at least sufficient resources to ensure the welfare of abandoned animals and their rapid adoption.”

The document, already delivered to the Cabildo, includes a proposal for island-wide municipal ordinance for all 21 municipalities on Gran Canaria, based on current legislation, analysing the regulations of other autonomous communities and “enriched” with the results of a study prepared by The prestigious Dr. Heather Bacon of the Jeanne Marchig International Center for Education and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh.

Article 46 of this draft municipal ordinance contains three types of sanctions. “Very serious” offenses are penalized with fines ranging from €1,502 to €15,025. These offenses include, among others, the holding of dogfights, pigeon shooting and other prohibited activities; The use of animals in shows or popular festivals that may cause suffering to animals, or degradation, parody, ridicule or stress, or may hurt the sensitivity of the people who see them; physical abuse or any other practice that causes them physical or psychological damage or liable to cause them very serious consequences for their health.

Offenses

Also considered “very serious” infractions are the abandonment of a pet; The sale of animals to laboratories or clinics without the fulfillment of the guarantees provided for in the regulations; Acts that involve cruelty, ill-treatment or suffering, not simulated, in the filming of scenes with animals for cinema or television; And the organization of cockfights that do not comply with what is established in the Law.

“Severe” offenses carry penalties ranging from €150 to € 1,502 and include, inter alia, maintenance of animals without adequate food and hydration or hygiene-sanitary facilities; Sterilization, mutilation and the slaughter of animals without veterinary control; Non-vaccination; Breach of the conditions for the temporary maintenance of pet animals, breeding or sale; Sale of pets in unauthorized form; The breeding and marketing of animals without the corresponding licenses; To provide animals with foods containing substances that can cause them unnecessary suffering, as well as anesthetics or drugs to achieve their docility.

Finally, “minor” infringements are punishable by fines ranging from €30 to €150. Criteria including the social or health significance and damage caused are to be taken into account in order to determine the penalties; The spirit of profit and the amount of the benefit obtained with the infraction; Or recidivism.

“The imposition of any sanction envisaged,” notes the proposed ordinance, “does not exclude civil liability and any compensation for damages that may correspond to the sanctioned.” Slight infringements consisting in breaches of the obligations for animal registrations will invite sanctions of €30 to €150. The penalty may also include “confiscation of animals subject to the violation, at the discretion of the authority at the time of the removal of the inspection report or the complaint.”

Pet Plan includes a section devoted to potentially dangerous dogs, with fines ranging from €2,404 to €15,025 for “very serious” offenses, including “abandoning a dangerous animal, Not having any identification of their origin or owner, having dangerous dogs without having the license, selling them to anyone who does not have a license or training animals to activate their aggression or for prohibited purposes.”

The fines for “serious” infringements range from €300 to €2,404, and include “letting loose a potentially dangerous animal or not having taken the necessary measures to avoid their escape or loss, failure to identify the animal, or potentially dangerous dogs in public places without muzzle or not on an appropriate leash”.

“Minor” infractions, between €150 and €300, include “having dangerous dogs in public spaces without the person who controls them carrying the correct municipal license, children under 18 having them in public spaces without adult supervision, or having more than one potentially dangerous animal per person on public roads.

Source: La Provincia

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