It has finally happened. The Congress of Deputies has already given the green light to the new regulations by which animals are no longer considered “real estate or things” and their nature as living beings endowed with sensitivity is recognized. That is sentient beings.

The law finally sees animals for what they are

The plenary session of Congress has approved the proposed Law of the PSOE and United We Can, which provides for the modification of the Mortgage Law, Civil Code, and the Civil Procedure Law on the legal regime of animals, in order that this already is not considered as objects.

This initiative was ratified with the support of practically all political formations. Less VOX, who voted against (thinking that it is foolish to humanize the animal and dehumanize man) and the PP, who abstained, the rest voted in favor. Even so, despite the abstention, the Popular Party congratulated itself on this parliamentary initiative, since it will end the anachronism of considering animals as things.

Among other issues, the text includes the distribution of times and burdens of pets when there is a family breakdown, either in a marriage or in a domestic partnership. If there is no agreement in the couple, the decision would be made by a judge. Taking into account that in Spain 40% of households have pets, this new rule represents a moral victory.

According to the socialist deputy Sandra Guaita, the text reflects a fight against mistreatment and cruelty in general, since violence is related. With his words, he made his opinion clear: those people who are violent towards animals are also violent towards people, so respect and empathy must be defended.

Child custody, related to this law

One of the most significant novelties of the approved text is that the judges can decide that parents do not share custody of their children with their ex-partners in the event of separation if they have mistreated or threatened to mistreat companion animals.

This is a form of vicarious or gender violence to manipulate or victimize the spouse or children. That is, it is justified by the possibility that animal abuse can be used as a means of control, abuse, or psychological abuse within the family environment.

With the approval of the text, a new article is introduced in the Civil Code by which, after declaring animals as living beings endowed with sensitivity, the owner must exercise their rights over them and their care, respecting that quality. In addition, you must ensure their well-being according to the characteristics of each species.

Little by little great steps are being taken in Spain in terms of giving them the place that animals deserve. It remains to be seen if the new Law on Protection and Rights of Animals also comes to fruition.