Spain Passes New Law Recognizing Animals as Sentient Beings and Not “Objects”

Spain Passes New Law Recognizing Animals as Sentient Beings and Not “Objects”

Last Thursday, Spain’s Congress of Deputies enacted a new measure on animal sentience, deciding that animals in the country should provide legal rights as “sentient creatures.” It will bring additional penalties for the seizure, maltreatment, and abandonment of domestic and wild animals, as well as changes to how pet custody is established after a divorce.

While there was existing law pertaining to animal consciousness in the Spanish Criminal Code, this recent judgement adds an animal rights string to the Spanish Civil Code’s bow. 

It will provide legal counsel in civil disputes over property, family, and divorce, ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of both the animals and their humans. In previous court disputes, “animals were not deemed distinct from a television,” according to Guillermo Daz of the Citizens Spanish political party, according to El Pais.

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Spain Passes New Law Recognizing Animals as Sentient Beings and Not “Objects”

“It’s a step forward,” said INTERcids animal rights advocate Mara González Lacabex. “It indicates that in separations and divorces, the arrangement that will be applied to the animals will take into account not only the interests of the people but also the interests of the animal.” The favorable action for animal rights was widely praised, with only ngel López Maraver of the far-right Vox political party, a former president of the Spanish Hunting Federation, calling it “insanity, foolishness, and idiocy.” It dehumanizes man while humanizing animals.”

This year, animal consciousness has been a big subject in the United Kingdom. On May 50, animal welfare organizations urged the UK government to acknowledge animals as sentient beings under domestic law.

Since its inception, octopuses, squid, and lobsters have joined the sentient crew, species that previously failed to fit into this group due to their lack of backbones and unusual brain designs. 

Commercial practices such as live boiling without stunning, severe killing procedures, shipping animals in frigid water, and selling live decapod crustaceans to untrained operators will be changed because of the review.

According to a 2013 study titled Searching for Animal Sentience: A Systematic Review of the Scientific Literature, “animal sentience refers to the ability of animals to feel and experience emotions such as joy, pleasure, suffering, and fear.” “Animals’ ability to feel both good and negative moods is the driving force behind the animal welfare movement and the cause for the existence of animal protection legislation.”

Historically, humans have found it simpler to apply the notion of consciousness to closely related species like primates. We have been more cautious when it comes to some of Earth’s less well-known themes. 

Legislators in the United States are presently fighting for cephalopods, such as octopuses, which not even classed as animals when it comes to a federal study. As a result, they are subject to abuse, which various studies and organizations have discovered they are both capable of and vulnerable to.

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