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Spanish Lower House Recognises Animals as Sentient Beings

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Cat - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.12.2021
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MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish Congress of Deputies adopted new legislation on Thursday recognising animals not as "objects" but as "sentient beings."
The legislation amends the legal status of animals in the Civil Code, Mortgage Law and Civil Procedure Law, regardless of whether the animals are domestic or wild.
Animals cannot be considered "objects" anymore, which means that they cannot be possessed, seized, abandoned or mistreated. Animals cannot be separated from owners in case of divorce without taking into account their welfare and protection, i.e. a couple should decide who will take care of an animal and for what period of time, and if an agreement cannot be reached, a court ruling shall be applied.
Moreover, farm animals no longer qualify for a mortgage and animals cannot be seized for non-payment. An amendment to the Spanish Civil Code treats animals as "absolutely inviolable." The amendment enshrines the bond between an animal and the family with which it lives.
The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the Unidas Podemos party proposed amendments. All parties but the far-right Vox party supported the decision.
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