Full Statute Name:  Protection of Animals Law

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Popular Title:  Protection of Animals Act Primary Citation:  92/95 (Protection of Animals Act) Country of Origin:  Portugal Last Checked:  October, 2010 Alternate Citation:  Date Adopted:  1995

This is general national legislation of Portugal for the protection and regulation of animal welfare. There is delegation of authority to grant or deny the use of animals in many commercial settings. Standards are minimal within the act itself.

The Portuguese Parliament decrees, under the articles 164 th , line d), and 169 th , number 3, of the Constitution, the following:



General Principles of Protection


Article 1 st

General measures of protection

1 – All unjustified violence against animals is forbidden, being considered as such the acts which consist in, unnecessarily, inflict death, cruel and prolonged suffering or severe lesions to an animal.

2 – The animals that have diseases, are wounded or in danger should, whenever it is possible, be helped.

3 – It is also forbidden the practice of acts that consist in:

a) Demanding from an animal, in cases where there are not emergencies, efforts or performances that, by virtue of his condition, he is obviously incapable of performing them or that are obviously beyond his possibilities;

b) Using whips with ties, spurs with more than 5 mm, or other perforating tools in the leading of animals, with the exception of those used in the equestrian art and in lawful bullfights;

c) Acquiring or disposing of an animal that is weakened, sick, worn out or aged, that has lived in a domestic environment, in a commercial, industrial or other premise, under protection and human care, to any end that be not that of his treatment and recovery; or, should that be the case, the induction of an immediate and respectful death;

d) Intentionally abandoning in the street animals that have been maintained under human care and protection, in a domestic environment or in a commercial or industrial premise;

e) Using animals for ends of didactics, training, filming, exhibitions, advertising or similar activities, as far as that results in considerable pain or suffering for them, unless in a scientific experiment of proved necessity;

f) Using animals for particularly difficult trainings or in experiments or entertainment activities which consist in morally confronting different animals with each other, unless in the practice of hunting.

4 – The species of animals that are endangered are object of protection measures, namely for the preservation of the ecosystems to which they belong.



Commerce and spectacles with animals


Article 2 nd    

Municipal licence

Without prejudice to the determined in Chapter III as to companion animals, any physical or collective person that explores the commerce of animals, that keeps animals in exchange for a payment, that rears them for commercial ends, that rents them, that serves herself of an animal for transportation ends, that exposes or exhibits them with a commercial purpose, will only be authorized to do it with a municipal authorization, which can be given as long as the municipal services confirm that the conditions determined by Law which aim to insure animal welfare and health are fulfilled.


Article 3 rd

Other authorisations

1 – Any physical or collective person that uses animals for ends of commercial spectacle cannot do it without a previous authorization of the competent entity or entities (General Administration of Spectacles and respective municipality).

2 – Bullfights are authorized in the established terms.


Article 4 th

Prohibition of the use of wounded animals

The vertebrates that exhibit wounds apparently provoked by actions that are contrary to animal protection legislation can be prohibited of entering in national territory as well as in commercial circuits whenever the survival of those animals is only possible with a considerable amount of suffering therefore implied; in this case the animals should be euthanised.



Elimination and identification of animals by municipalities


Article 5 th     

Stray animals

1 – In the cities in which the number of stray animals constitutes a problem, municipalities may reduce its number, provided that they do it according to methods that do not cause evitable pain or suffering.

2 – These measures should imply that, if these animals should be captured, that be done with the minimum physical or psychological suffering, considering animal nature and, for that matter, that, in the cases when captured animals have to be restrained or slaughtered, such happens in conformity with non-cruel methods.


Article 6 th

Planned reproduction

Municipalities should:

1) Advise the owners of animals to reduce the non-planed reproduction of dogs and cats, promoting their sterilization whenever that is advisable;

2) Encourage people who find stray dogs and cats to report it to municipal services.


Article 7 th          

Public transportations

With exception to attendable reasons – such as the danger, the health or hygiene state – the responsibles for public transportations cannot refuse the transport of companion animals, provided that these are properly accompanied and conditioned.


Article 8 th  


For the effect of this law it is considered that a companion animal is any animal detained or destined to be detained by man, namely in his home, for his pleasure and as a company.


Article 9 th


The sanctions for the infringement of this law will be object of a special law.


Article 10 th

Animal protection associations

The animal protection associations legally constituted have legitimacy to require to all authorities and courts the preventive and urgent measures that are necessary and adequate to avoid on-going or imminent violations.

These organizations can assist all the processes originated or relative to the violation of the present law and are excused from the payment of judicial expenses and fee.


Approved in June 21 st , 1995.


The President of the Parliament,

António Moreira Barbosa de Melo


Promulgated in August 24 th , 1995.


To be published.


The President of the Republic,

Mário Soares


Referended in August 29 th , 1995.


The Prime Minister,

Aníbal António Cavaco Silva



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