Costa Blanca News (North Edition)
Raquel López: Expert in animal law
STARTING this week in Costa Blanca News, the expert and educator in animal law, Raquel López will be providing insight into relevant topics for pet owners, animal welfare associations and anyone with an interest in our furry friends in Spain.
While working as a lawyer in this field for 15 years, she was involved in legal rescues of more than 600 abused animals, obtained over 20 convictions against people for abusing animals, and mediated in the legal relocation of wild animals from four circuses.
Raquel now dedicates herself exclusively to training others about the subject, including lawyers, vets, trainers, animal welfare associations, law enforcement, the judiciary, councillors, teachers and university students.
“My mission is to reduce mistreatment of animals and educate professionals who protect animals in order to fight ignorance, as this is the biggest problem in Spain,” she explained.
More information about Raquel’s
work is available on her website, www.deanimals.com, and Facebook page: DeAnimals.
Taking a dog for a walk during the state of emergency By Raquel López
The national government’s General Directorate for Animal Rights (www.facebook.com/AnimalesGob) created the first state protocol to regulate care of domestic animals, including feral cats.
On March 14, Royal Decree 463/2020 declared a state of emergency to manage the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Article 7 of this decree limits free movement of people, basically prohibiting them to leave their homes apart from certain exceptions. Logically people who have animals and/or care for feral cats or collaborate with animal protection associations have many doubts, such as the following:
1. Can I take my dog for a walk to do its business?
2. Can I go to the countryside or to another residence of mine or of a friend or relative who is helpless or not currently living at home, to feed their animals?
3. Can I continue to collaborate as a volunteer carrying out tasks for a rescue centre?
4. Can I feed feral cats?
5. Can I take my pet to the vet? The answer to the above five questions is YES, you can.
The General Directorate for Animal Rights created a legal regulation called ‘Instruccion de March 19, 2020’, which establishes criteria for care of domestic animals during the state of emergency.
We will analyse under what conditions it is permitted to take a dog for a walk.
1. I can only walk my dog if I am not positive for coronavirus or I am not quarantined at home by medical order.
2. I can only walk my dog alone, I cannot be accompanied by anyone else.
3. If I have several dogs and cope well with them,
I can take them all out at once.
4. I can only walk my dog for the minimum time required for him to relieve himself.
5. I cannot go for a walk with other friends or acquaintances who also have a dog and if I meet someone, I must stay away from that person.
6. The dog must always be on a leash.
7. I must carry the dog's veterinary passport with me, in case the police stop me and ask me to prove the animal is mine.
8. If the dog I walk is not mine, I must carry with me its veterinary passport and a letter from the owner of the dog (a private person or animal rescue) authorising me to walk the dog and/or take care of it.
9. If it is a dog classified as potentially dangerous, I must also carry the licence for the possession of potentially dangerous animals. And if I have several dogs considered as potentially dangerous, I can only walk them one by one.
10. It is recommended to disinfect the dog before entering the house, including all four paws, tail and muzzle.
If you want an authorisation form to walk the dog of a friend, relative or acquaintance, download the free form in Spanish from my website.
In the next article, I will tell you what you should know and what documents you need if you feed feral cats.