A Spanish town is affording dogs and cats the same rights as humans.
In a unanimous vote the town council in Trigueros del Valle, an area of approximately 300 people, agreed to define dogs and cats as “non-human residents,” meaning they are provided similar rights to men and women.
Dogs and cats have been living among us for over a 1,000 years,” said Pedro Pérez Espinosa, the town’s Socialist mayor. “And the mayor must represent not just the human residents but must also be here for the others.”
The new act also bans “any action that causes the mutilation or death of a non-human resident.” this provision is targeted towards those that participate in bullfighting.
“Today, we are closer as species and we are now more human thanks to the sensitivity and intelligence shown by the people of Trigueros del Valle,” animal rights organization Rescate 1 told The Independent. “This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike.”
The closest the U.S. has come to providing human rights to other species is when a judge found four lab chimpanzees were legal persons, not property.
Image via Flickr/BenStoney