View Full Version : Spanish law=european law?

31st January 2009, 21:36
Itīs been recently discussed(heavily....) if native species can be kept in Spain.
Itīs beyond doubt that collecting, and therefore keeping, wild animals is illegal(the rare exceptions are monitored by the pertinent organisms).
However this was not the matter of discussion. What was discussed was if CB animals of native species would be legal.
It appears that law does not directly mention CB animals at any point. It only covers wild specimens. Some people defend that the laws that aply to wild animals, also aply to CB ones, but thereīs no legal mention at all of this.
After contacting with different organisms, and going through CITES regulations and stuff, itīs been "clarified" that CB animals can be kept legally as far as their CB origin can be legally demonstrated. I personally have my doubts about this(you can hardly trust the word of the workers in those organisms), but iīll try to ask the organisms personally(again) to see if the answer is the same. Since none of the spanish caudates are listed on CITES, itīs been said that the legal document to credit their origin would be a simple transfer document.
Also, itīs worth noting that there might be regional restrictions to this situation, which would mean that native species canīt be kept no matter their origin, in which case the list of species under this restriction is available to the public. This would be the case of Catalunya, or so it appears.
Iīm personally confused with all the discussion(or may i call it a war...) and i donīt know who to believe...but iīm working on getting first hand, reliable proof.

If iīm not mistaken this is the kind of situation that occurs in other countries of the european community, right? I know some countries(all??) allow the captive housing of native species to some extent, but iīm unsure as to if thereīs any law that precises the necessary paperwork, or any law that directly discriminates between wild animals and CB ones.

This is the intention of this post, trying to merge the different situations throughout europe and the different kinds of documents that might be needed....for the shake of comparison xD.

1st February 2009, 10:28
In the Netherlands keeping native herpetofauna is always illegal, even when you buy cb species in, say, France or Germany. No exceptions on this rule, also for non-native subspecies!

1st February 2009, 15:01
Thank you Wouter. I take for granted that there is a specific law that directly adresses what you describe, am i right?

I say this because the origin of all the problems here in Spain is precisely that.....the absolute lack of any law that mentions CB animals.
Traditionally we all have always believed that since there was no direct regulation for CB animals, it meant that they were covered by the laws that regulate wild animals.
However the fact that the law clearly states several times that the animals concerned by it are WILD animals, led to the general confusion and lack of definite answers...because, once again, i repeat, there is no mention at all in the spanish law that says that CB animals are illegal.

If natuve amphibians were listed on CITES it would be soooo easy...but they are not and thus the actual truth about this all is kind of tricky to be found.

1st February 2009, 16:32
Sounds like main land european laws have reached a catch 22, on one hand they abolished the trade on their native animals, how ever they also inhibited the captive breeding of there native fauna, which is never a good thing.

Does this mean a spanish person can not keep and breed bernadezi (a spanish sub species) but can keep weneri or terrestris Ect.? (non native animals of the same Genus)

1st February 2009, 17:00
Thatīs another point in which the spanish law fails to be clear. Subespecies are never mentioned. What the law talks about are species (although as i commented, it talks about wild specimens of native species, never about CB animals), which would mean that provided it was in fact illegal to keep captive bred(legally demonstrated) animals of native SPECIES, it would also include non-native subespecies. So yes, if the authorities declared that itīs illegal to keep native species, we wouldnīt be able to keep for example Mesotriton alpestris apuanus, even though that particular subespecies is not native to us.
When it comes to wild caught animals, itīs very clear to me (and i think everyone else), that whatīs illegal is the native species(including all subespecies, native or not).

The discussion however is definitely not about wild caught animals, which the law is pretty clear about(collection of native SPECIES is illegal). Itīs about CB animals of native species....which the law is not only not clear about, but it also doesnīt mention them at all....

I donīt know if iīm making sense xD iīm finding it hard to explain the situation and my ideas about the issue. Basically, thereīs a legal "hole"(no legal information at all) regarding CB animals of native species.....which doesnīt necessarily mean that they are illegal, as we all had taken for granted for years and years. In fact the recent testimonies and information make it pretty clear(though i prefer to be eskeptical) that they are not illegal, because if they were, there would be a law for it (and in fact in some autonomical communities there are restrictions).

And thatīs why iīm hoping to compare our situation with the rest of europe, because if other countries have specific laws that clearly state that CB animals of native species are illegal to maintain...then itīs a sign that the lack of such law in spain would mean that they are not illegal.

Iīm repeating myself so much iīm getting sick of myself....sorry....

1st February 2009, 17:16
I understand what your saying, but Im ignorant to the answer, I know over here in England the whole Great crested Newt issue is taken very seriously, I dont think we can even C breed them..

Would be interesting to find out what the situation is in Europe though.

1st February 2009, 20:30
I am not that knowledgeable with regulations since most animals I keep are from outside of Europe.

But as far as I get the German legislation, it is legal to keep, breed and sell native species if you can verify that they were c.b. - meaning you have to get a certificate from the breeder, you have to register them at a department (sometimes different department from state to state), you have to register every single one of the offspring and you have to de-register if you sell any of the animals (and the next keeper has to register them again...). That does not only apply to real NATIVE species but to every European species as well.

BUT it is illegal to catch or even disturb native species in the wild (officially...there are some interesting pictures around of Salamandra fortunately sitting on a log just as a party of herpetologists passed by ;-) ).

I have made the experience that if you are unsure of legislation, just ask the authorities. People there are sometimes very helpful (at least over here).

2nd February 2009, 07:24
One thing that seems to be noteworthy in this issue is Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. At least here in Finland it seems to matter which annex (II, IV or V) species is listed in. Species in annex IV are handled differently than species in annex V.

2nd February 2009, 17:21
German conservation law sounds brilliant, i really like the idea of it, but does it cost anything to register the animals or is it purely a paper work thing?

Who knows perhaps with the rising amount of awareness in regards to the global situation on amphibians, the European Union may set up an actual dedicated organisation to the regulation and supervisation of captive breeding of european herps.(phew that was a mouthful)

4th February 2009, 11:08
I do not like the German rules as the are to easily circumvented. Unless DNA-tests are done nobody knows if the offspring is real offspring or WC.

I would say if CB animals are not mentioned as an exception, there is no exception. That the law talks about "wild animals" is to vague to me, doesn't this mean not-domesticated?.

7th July 2009, 13:46
Sorry i hadnīt checked this thread in a long time. I just remembered about it.
As of now, here in Spain itīs been made clear that the restrictions are different in each autonomic community. Catalunya as an example doesnīt allow even CB certified animals. Other communities do.
In fact, lately weīve been seeing Pleurodeles waltl being sold in pet-shops with no papers at all. That sounds awfully irregular to me, but the law is doing nothing.
As said, each autonomic community has itīs own regulations, and therefore whenever the topic of native species appears among spanish hobbyists, the standard recommendation is to check your local laws in person.