Spain has just approved a new standard focused on animal welfare. As of January 5, 2022, pets are no longer an ‘object’ but ‘sentient beings’ according to the court of law.

This means that they have the ability to express emotions and feelings. Additionally, in case of separation, pets cannot be seized, abandoned, abused, mortgaged, or even stolen from one of their owners.

It has been in the works for four years and was approved by the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house on Thursday.

The law marks a change both in Spain and in several other nations. Other European nations, including Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, France, and Austria, regard animals as sentient beings.

The UK Animal Welfare (Sensitivity) Bill is awaiting a report in the House of Lords. The rule will help ensure that all government orders affect animal welfare.

In case of separation or divorce, a judge must consider the fate of the animal with as much importance as the other members of the family.

The new norm modifies the Mortgage Law, the Law of Civil Procedure and the Civil Code. In addition, the law applies to animals, both wild and domestic.

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