Fact Check: Sex With Animals NOT Legal In Spain After 2023 Animal Welfare Law Approved

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: Sex With Animals NOT Legal In Spain After 2023 Animal Welfare Law Approved Still Illegal

Did an animal welfare law approved in Spain in 2023 legalize sex with animals under the condition that the animal would not be hurt? No, that's not true: The law increases penalties for the mistreatment of pets by their owners and those working with animals and sets a common legal framework to reduce the number of abandoned animals.

The claim originated from a video (only available now as archived here) on TikTok on April 20, 2023, under the title "Big love ladies and gentlemen" (translated by Lead Stories staff from Romanian to English). The speaker made the remark about Spain while commenting on a local news report covering a reported case of zoophilia in Romania.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-04-27 at 09.49.22.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Apr 27 06:35:25 2023 UTC)

The law on animal welfare became controversial in February 2023, when it was passed by the lower house of the Spanish Congress. Several news outlets and politicians were claiming that this change decriminalized bestiality, according to Snopes and TheLocal.es.

The rewritten portion removed the requirement that the law cover only domestic or economically exploited animals, in order to expand the scope of animal protection. It also introduced a requirement that the abuse had to cause "an injury that requires veterinary treatment" for it to be considered a crime punishable by more than a fine. The controversy was mainly caused by imprecise language, raising concerns that it could make it harder to convict some individuals for sexual acts with animals. But it did not aim to legalize zoophilia, which is not legal in Spain after the law was approved, in March 2023.


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