Possible new legislation for pet owners in Portugal in 2020

The Portuguese budget for 2020 states that in addition to registering in the SIAC (the Pet Information Database), animals will soon have to have a licence from their corresponding civil parishes.

New legislation for pet owners in Portugal / Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
New legislation for pet owners in Portugal / Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
19 February 2020, Redaction

Pet owners, who since October 25, 2019 are obliged to register their dogs, cats and even ferrets in the new Pet Information Database ("SIAC - Sistema de Informação de Animais de Companhia"), as well as inserting microchips in them, will soon also have to apply for an annual licence from their corresponding local council known as a civil parish. If it is the first time you are applying for a licence or if you're bringing your pet to Portugal, the licence must be applied for within 30 days after the respective registration in the Pet Information Database. In total, pet owners will soon have to pay two fees

According to the Portuguese newspaper, Jornal de Negócios, this is a proposal to amend the State Budget for 2020 (OE2020) presented by the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) with the aim of resolving a current disagreement between the Directorate General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV) and the Directorate General of Local Authorities (DGAL).

According to the publication, the DGAV, part of the Ministry of Agriculture, has understood that pets only have to be registered on the Pet Information Database (SIAC), but the DGAL, part of the Ministry of Internal Administration, considers that the previous legislation, where pets had to be licenced with civil parishes, should be maintained. The Socialists, with this proposal, want to therefore maintain both of these ideas. 

For the deputy leader of the Socialist Party, João Paulo Correia, the problem is that the law in question "introduced changes that caused confusion". "Previously the licencing of animals by parish councils was removed, violating the framework law of local authorities where it is expected that this licensing is effectively a competence of the councils", he said. But as a decree law cannot change a law, which has greater value, the Socialist Party is now moving forward with this clarification in the legislation.

Vets consider that the proposed amendment to the State Budget will "complicate what has been simplified". According to Bruno Rolo from the National Union of Veterinary Doctors (SNMV), the party is once again "demanding a licence that is no longer even necessary for health control purposes" and that will "force people to pay two fees, and that of the board's licence is only for movement in public space". He states that is is also a measure that could "discourage people from having pets".

Article seen at: Cães e gatos: donos obrigados a pagar duas vezes (Jornal de negócios)

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