Anyone caught mistreating their pet will face a jail term of up to two years in a new law which was approved this week by the Spanish Members of Parliament. Until now, the maximum penalty in case of death of the animal was 18 months in prison.

The law involves “compulsory” training for dog owners, who will also be banned from leaving them alone for more than 24 hours. It also makes the sterilisation of cats compulsory.

Spain has granted the right to joint custody for pets since the beginning of 2020, who are now considered "living beings endowed with sensitivity" and no longer simply "things".

Animals rights groups have welcomed the new law.