Guide for presenting a report

Below the following questions will be answered:

Do I have to file a report if I witness a case of animal mistreatment?

How can one make a report for animal mistreatment?

Two types of reports can be made, depending on the acts committed: denuncia administrativa (administrative report) and denuncia penal (criminal report).


The most effective way of notifying the responsible organ of an administrative infraction with regards to animal protection is via an administrative report.

Administrative infractions are enumerated in the laws on animal protection of each Autonomous Community (as is the rest of the application regulation on this topic). All citizens have the right and responsibility to inform the responsible Administration of infractions and violations of juridical order of which they have knowledge. In the case of an administrative law, any citizen can report cases which constitute administrative infractions and the responsible Administration has the obligation to act, though not necessarily to open an expediente sancionador (punitive inquiry), it is necessary that they take into consideration the facts which presumably constitute an administrative infraction and create the pertinent instructional activities, gathering, for instance, the local police auxiliary to investigate the reported acts so that, when necessary, they can agree to initiate punitive administrative proceedings. The report can be made before the administrative organ responsible for animal protection or before the corps of specialized security, so that they can gather the necessary forces (Civil Guard, Seprona (Servicio De Protección De La Naturaleza – Natural Protection Service), or national, regional and local police).

If the Administration, due to high workload or through their own inaction, do not take any action with regards to the presentation of an administrative report, you can be sure that this behavior does not conform with the law and the person reporting the act can make use of the recurso contencioso-administrativa (contentious administrative resource) once the corresponding maximum legal period for the resolution of an administrative report has passed.
The actions which constitute an administrative infraction, together with the corresponding punishments, are covered in different legal regulations on animal protection. Administrative punishments usually involve a fine, though in some cases it can include adopting other measures, such as:
The seizure of animals which were the object of the infraction

The seizure of hunting trophies and works of art and the tools which were used in committing the infraction

The temporary closing of the respective local installations and establishments

The temporary prohibition from owning animals

The temporary prohibition from exercising an activity

The preventative removal of authorizations

Also, the imposition of any penalty does not exclude civil responsibility and eventual indemnity for damages and harm that can correspond to the penalized party.

The persons and associations who filed the report have the right to know the status of the processing of their report.
Model of an administrative report (word – in Spanish):



The formulation of criminal reports is one of the displays of the responsibility to collaborate in fighting crime. As such, in general, those who witness a criminal act or have knowledge of the existence of a criminal act are obligated to report it (with certain exceptions: for example, spouses do not have this obligation, nor do the parents or children of the offender). This is to say, witnesses should make a report to alert the Judge, the Prosecutor or the police or Civil Guard, of the acts which can be considered a crime. One the report is formalized, the veracity of the reported acts will be tested, though the responsibility for determining if the act is or is not a crime falls to the judge or the pertinent court which has knowledge of the presumably criminal acts.

If the report is made before the police force and they understand that the reported acts constitute a crime or misdemeanor, they will send the official report that they have created after investigation to the judiciary so that they can be given the corresponding orders and that a trial corresponding to the acts will be opened, after which a sentence will be given. If the situation we have knowledge of is extremely serious and can endanger the life of an animal or entails an imminent risk for the animal, or if we consider that a mistreatment is currently taking place in this instance, the appropriate response is to call the authorities immediately so that they can go immediately to the site of the acts and then create the report.

Criminal reports will be created in the cases which are considered to be violations of any (link precept) of the Penal Code with relation to animal protection.

The punishment can consist of:

    Delito (Crime) (articles 334-337 of the Penal Code):
    Prison sentences

    Special prohibition from exercising the right to hunt or fish

    Special prohibition from the exercise of any profession, trade or business that relates to animals.

Falta (Misdemeanor) (articles 631 and 632 of the Penal Code):

    Economic fine
    Community service

All this is applicable, notwithstanding the indemnity for damages and harm that the judge can assess if we have expressly requested this in the written report.
Although the penal code does not address it in an express form, it is useful, when necessary, to ask for the confiscation of the mistreated animals so that the judge can assess whether to agree to this measure, as has happened in recent occasions.

The persons and associations who filed the report have the right to know the status of the processing of their report.

Model of a criminal report (– In Spanish):
Palabras clave

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