The Fight for Animal Protection in Spain


la Asociación Defensa Derechos Animal (ADDA) was the first organization in Spain that introduced the word “welfare” to talk about the defense of animals, and it has now become common usage among the entire animal welfare movement in Spain. ADDA was founded in 1976, and during its 43 years of existence, the association has participated in and followed the progress that, little by little, has been achieved to defend animals. Although dogs and cats are the most widely appreciated and closest to people, ADDA has made effort to raise awareness of the fact that all animals, as sentient beings, need our help and protection, not only pets, but also livestock, animals used in research, wild animals, etc.

The end of a bullfight in in San Sebastian de los Reyes in Spain. Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals.

It was an honor for ADDA to promote the first Law on the Protection and Defense of Animals within Spain, and Catalonia, which is one of the 17 autonomous communities that compose Spain. Later, its City Council declared Barcelona the first anti-bullfighting and animal-friendly city in Spain. This statement was the first step towards banning bullfighting, voted in the Parliament of Catalonia in July 2010, following a petition by means of a popular legislative initiative.

Our collaborations with organizations in other countries have always been important, especially with those who historically were the most advanced in the respect and love for animals. In the United States, we have collaborated with WSPA (currently Word Animal Protection), which was located in Boston, and with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with whom we organized an anti-fur performance in downtown Madrid that caused a big scandal at that time in Spain because of the activists’ nudity.

ADDA is currently focused on the fight against factory farming in all its stages: from breeding, fattening and transport, until animals are killed in slaughterhouses. It is vital that we spread the word that rising meat consumption is dangerous for human health and has devastating environmental impacts due to the great extensions of lands used to feed livestock. We stand for promoting organic and vegan diets, which are fortunately becoming more and more common.

Chickens being loaded into transport crates ahead of slaughter in Spain. ADDA fights to protect animals from the horrors of factory farming. Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality.

Very recently, we collaborated with PETA again to try to help to locate a ship that transported calves from Brazil to Turkey and needed to stop in a Spanish port to restock on food and water for these poor and suffering animals. The ship was not allowed to dock in Cartagena, and finally we found the port where the ship docked and the animals received food and water. We wonder how is it possible and logical to transport animals by sea across the world, to take weakened animals to slaughterhouses to be killed in a country such as Turkey, which does not offer a minimum of safety and welfare for these innocent victims.

These are a few examples of our campaigns and the issues we focus on. Our commitment is to dedicate our lives to do our best to protect our beloved animals.

Featured image: a bullfight in San Sebastian de los Reyes in Spain. Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals.

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Founded in 1976, the Association Defensa Derechos Animal (Defending Animal Rights), or ADDA, was the first Spanish NGO devoted to the defense and well-being of animals in general. Click to see author's profile.

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