Coalition gov’t creates new animal welfare directorate

Sergio García Torres, new general director for animal protection in coalition gov't. Photo: María León / El Diario
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Spain’s new PSOE-Unidas Podemos coalition government has created a new animal protection directorate, coordinating jurisdictions over the protection of the welfare of wild and domestic animals held within four separate government ministries under the auspices of one office within the new Ministry of Social Affairs & Agenda 2030 led by 2nd Vice-President Pablo Iglesias.

The new General Directorate for Animal Protection will be headed by Sergio García Torres, previously in charge of animal rights and protection issues for Podemos Madrid and a former activist in Spain with the International Network Against Bullfighting (CAS International).

García Torres is expected to lead the fight in the coming legislature to draft and push through Congress a new nationwide law for the protection of animals to substitute the hodge-podge protection of animal rights and welfare under a series of regional laws and local regulations throughout Spain.

The gaping hole in the establishment of the new office, however, lies in the fact that bullfighting remains protected by Spain’s Constitution as part of the country’s “national cultural patrimony”, the result of a 2013 law pushed through Congress during the government of then-President Mariano Rajoy by his conservative Partido Popular’s absolute parliamentary majority.

Under the new arrangement, bullfighting, correbous and other events and festivals involving bulls will therefore remain within jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

► News Sources: El Diario, Europa Press and Público …

According to a recent study by the Culture and Sports Ministry, bullfighting is on the wane in Spain and the number of bullfights has fallen by 58.4 percent across Spain in the past dozen years.

According to the national Association of Veterinarians Against Bullfighting and Animal Abuse (AVATMA), more than three-quarters (77.9 percent) of bullfights still held in Spain are restricted to just four of the country’s 17 regional autonomous communities: Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla & León, Madrid and Andalucia.

► Click to read more news about Animal rights in Spain…

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