The pet industry demonstrated in Madrid against the new Animal Welfare Act, that was just presented by the central government. The draft includes several restrictions for pet owners.

The demonstration, called “In defense of the sector and responsible trade of pets”, happened on January 23rd. The industry wanted to express their concerns about the law’s absence of scientific background and legal uncertainities. The law should implement EU regulations on this topic.

The draft establishes e.g. that pet owners have to care for their animals, including a proper living space and hygiene as well as obligatory visits at the veterinarian. Furthermore, pet owners have to take a test to find out if they are qualified for keeping an animal.

The Spanish Association of Distributors of Pet Products (AEDPAC) thinks that the market application of this regulation “may spark a domino effect that could be a turning point for the future of the pet care sector.”

“It would prove particularly damaging for pet wholesalers and retailers, as this sector is poised to lose 30% of its turnover in the short-term, forcing many retail operators to close”, warned AEDPAC’s chairman Adolfo Santa Olalla.

Ollala assumes that there will be created an online black market. Furthermore, the association sees this as a precedent for other European countries.

Secretary-General of AEDPAC Ignasi Solana Vinyoles explained that several countries in Europe have made attempts to pass and implement “legislation grounded in an animal activist ideology that runs counter to market experience, scientific knowledge, and the most basic common sense.”

Some examples include France, Belgium (Flanders), The Netherlands and Germany.

“Working in the professional pet care sector entails being particularly rigorous when it comes to implementing current legislation, with animal welfare an intrinsic and essential part of our everyday business activities, he said.

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