Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Dog Laws

Spain has announced new laws No 50/99 which could affect you if you are a dog owner.

Dogs belonging to one of the following breeds and their crosses are considered dangerous:

Pit Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro
Tosa Inu
Akita Inu

It is not completely clear whether German Shepherds and Doberman are included on the list. You are recommended to seek advice from your local vet or town hall, who will be able to give you further information.

Those animals that have all or many of the following characteristics are also considered as dangerous:

Strong musculature, powerful or athletic constitution, robustness, agility, vigor and endurance.
Strong character and marked courage.
Short hair.
Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters (24 and 32 inches), height at the shoulder between 50 and 70 centimeters (20 and 28 inches) and weight over 20 kg (44 lbs).
Voluminous, square, robust head, with a wide and large skull and muscular and pronounced cheeks. Strong and large jaws, robust, wide and deep snout.
Broad, short and muscled neck.
Broad, thick, deep chest, with arched ribs and short and muscled back.
Straight, parallel and robust forelegs and very muscular hindquarters, with relatively long hindlegs at a moderate angle.

Also included are those dogs with a record of aggressive tendencies or prior attacks to humans or other animals.

Potentially dangerous dogs must be identified with a microchip. They also must be registered in the Town or City Registries. The dog owner must have a license, issued by the municipality, valid for five years. In order to qualify for a license, the owner must meet the following requirements:

Must be 18 years or older.
Must have a clean police record showing no convictions for the crimes of homicide, torture, assault, sex-related offenses, drug trafficking, association with illegal armed groups, or otherwise having been banned by court order of the right to own potentially dangerous animals. These requirements must be documented with the appropriate certificates issued by the police authorities with jurisdiction over the owner’s place(s) of residence during the two years prior to the application for license.

Must be mentally and physically able to own and control potentially dangerous animals. This requirement will be documented with the appropriate certificates (certificate of physical aptitude and certificate of psychological aptitude) issued by authorised centers in Spain.

Must have proof of contract of an insurance policy on the animal(s) with a liability coverage of at least 120,000€.
The owner must report any changes to the information included in the license to the Town or City Registry within fifteen days of the effective date of the change.

When a potentially dangerous dog is in a public space, the owner or person responsible for the dog must carry the owner’s license and the certificate of inscription of the dog in the Town or City Registry. In addition, the dog must wear at all times an appropriate muzzle, and must be restrained by a non-extensible leash or chain no longer than 2 meters (6.5 feet). At any given time, one person cannot lead more than one dog.

Potentially dangerous dogs located in an open, delimited space (land lot, porch, terrace, etc.) must be restrained by a chain or leash, unless the space is properly enclosed.

Finally, owners must report missing or stolen dogs to the Town or City Registry within 48 hours after the animal is determined missing.

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