The Spanish government has approved a new bill to make bestiality punishable by up to 1 year in prison.
The new law makes it illegal to “unreasonably mistreat any animal that does not live in the wild, causing injuries that severely damage its health or subjecting it to sexual exploitation.”
Unauthorized shows such as cockfighting or dogfighting will also be illegal with up to 2 years in prison and organizers will be banned from owning animals for 10 to 20 years.
Other animal abusers will now be banned from owning animals from 1 to 3 years.
Sentences may increase if the person used weapons, dangerous objects to the animal’s life, used cruelty or if the incident occurred in the presence of a minor. In the case of causing death to the animal, the sentence may increase to 18 months in prison.
“The Government has taken a step forward in animal protection, but many more steps are necessary for Spaniards to be proud of how we treat animals here,” said director of AnimaNaturalis Spain Aïda Gascón.
“It is unacceptable that the extreme case of animal abuse that occurs every September in Tordesillas with Toro de la Vega was not included in the Penal Code. There are enough studies linking violence towards animals as a precedent to violence, murder and rape of people. What kind of society are we promoting by protecting bullfighting?”