The Junta de Andalucía has approved new regulations relating to dangerous or exotic pets considered to pose a threat either to people or the environment.

The national law on dangerous animals (law 30/1999) was actually introduced in 1999 but does contain loopholes. The Junta de Andalucia, concerned about the proliferation of dangerous pets, is effectively plugging a loophole.

The new regulations cover such pets as crocodiles, alligators, lions, snakes, primates and various amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Anyone possessing:

  • Adult Crocodiles, Alligators or other reptiles weighing in excess of 2 kilos
  • Amphibians, arthropods (includes spiders, scorpions, snakes, crustaceans etc) and fish whose bite can cause significant harm to humans
  • Adult primates and wild mammals weighing in excess of 10 kilos
  • Carnivorous creatures weighing in excess of 5 kilos

will have a period of six months to hand them in to the appropriate public facilities or officially sanctioned private facilities. Fines for non-compliance are up to €115,000 depending upon the severity of the case.

The six month moratorium gives both the owners time to say goodbye to their pets but also allows time for the various provincial authorities to provide the necessary facilities for handling all the different kinds of creatures. At present, the infrastructure required for dealing with such a variety of species is somewhat lacking. Málaga, for example, has only one suitable centre at the present time, an unofficial SEPRONA facility.

The new decree is expected to be published in about two weeks.

There is also a series of changes to the laws regarding what are deemed to be dangerous dogs. The legislation includes those species covered by the state law (Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Argentinian Dogo, Brazilian Fila, Toso Inu and Akita Inu) and adds the Doberman to the list. In addition, there is a new category and regulations relating to animals which have been trained to attack.

In both cases, dangerous or attack-trained, these are only allowed on public thoroughfares if controlled by an adult, are attached by a one metre long unbreakable lead and are muzzled. Such animals are not permitted in areas of leisure used by minors, such as parks and school yards, and the dog owners must, at all times, carry a Documento Autonómico de Identificación y Registro Animal (Animal Identity and Registration Document. No adult is permitted to walk more than one of these dogs at any one time.

Owners of such dogs will need a special license from the local authority. The owner must be an adult, comply with physical and psychological requirements by means of testing, have no felony convictions and must take out third party insurance to the value of €175,000.

The dangerous breeds themselves must undergo a training course and, in view of their inherent aggressiveness, may not be trained to attack .

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