Nos informations

Legal Status of Animals

Law 8/2017 of 3rd March came into effect on 1st May 2017. This law sets out the legal status of animals, acknowledging their status as living beings with sensitivity.

The legislator altered the Civil Code, Civil Procedure Code and Criminal Code.

For the first time, the legislation enshrines the obligation of the owner of an animal to ensure its wellbeing and respect the characteristics of each species. By wellbeing, the legislator explains that it includes ensuring access to water and food in accordance with the necessities of the species; access to medical and veterinarian care whenever justified, including medication, identification and vaccination which is legally required.

The right of ownership of an animal does not include the right to, without a legitimate reason for doing so, inflict pain, suffering or any mistreatment that result in unjustified suffering, abandonment or death.

In addition to setting out the rights which animals have (before they were considered “things”), it is also explained that any pets which the spouses have at the time of marriage belong to the spouse and do not automatically communicate to the other spouse, even if the marital regime is general community of assets. In addition, in the case of divorce, the parties have to present an agreement on the custody of the pets.

The recognition of a legal status for animals is an important step in the acknowledgement and protection of animal rights, and represents a significant step forward in this area.

Please note, your browser is out of date.
For a good browsing experience we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.