— JOE.ie (@JOEdotie) July 23, 2015
Trigueros de Valle, a town of 300 in the north of Spain, has become the country's first to grant cats and dogs what are effectively human rights as "non-human neighbors."
On July 22, the province of Valladolid town officially approved a declaration that seeks to "dignify the lives of dogs and cats, animals which have shared with man thousands and thousands of years and have been a great help to him."
Cats and dogs are of great importance in the town and are therefore being symbolically recognized. The decree also means that the town hall will take legal responsibility for all abandoned cats and dogs and will condemn owners who abuse their animals. Animal rights campaigner Mercedes Cano told Cope radio:
"It seems to me a very important, historic declaration, like, for example, the day that children's rights were enshrined for the first time."
This newly established declaration is like the Magna Carta for cats and dogs as it essentially grants human rights to the animals. While some believe that the declaration goes a bit too far, others are rejoicing. Recaste 1, an animal rights group, released an open statement that reads:
"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. This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike."
Surprisingly, this isn't the first incident in which a non-human has been granted something similar to human rights. In May, a court ruled that four chimpanzees in a university research laboratory could not be treated as property and must be recognized as legal persons.
Watch this video to see just how similar these animals are to humans:
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