BARCELONA is to create a ‘civic licence’ for dog owners so that they can walk their dogs in the street without having them on a lead.
The new by-laws governing the regulation of animals in the Catalan capital also includes a register of people who have ill-treated animals and fines of up to €600 for anyone breaking the new laws.
On the streets of Barcelona it is, currently, illegal to let a dog run loose, but in future it will be allowed if the owner has a special licence.
This system is already in place in other European cities like Geneva and has proved successful in controlling the behaviour of those who own dogs.
The Catalan School of Veterinary Sciences has backed the decision to institute the special licences adding that if an animal has been correctly trained, and this can be proven, there is no reason it shouldn’t be allowed to be free on the streets and in the parks of the city.
Other items covered by the new law are the prohibition of tying up an animal for more than two hours or leaving them in the car for more than 20 minutes as well as the reduction in the amount that an owner can be fined – this has been brought down to a maximum of €600 for a serious offence and €100 for a light offence.
The new ordinance will come into law on October 1.