Spain’s proposed animal rights-bill will ban the sale of pets in shops, convert zoos into wildlife recovery centres, and give prison sentences to animal abusers.

The draft law, which still faces a public hearing and a parliamentary vote, will also prohibit the keeping of wild animals in circuses and the killing of pets in any setting other than euthanasia by a veterinarian.

Ione Belarra, Social Rights Minister, said Spain is beginning to end the impunity of animal abusers in the country.

“This animal rights-bill, the first of our democracy, makes us a better country. Because the value of a society is also measure by how it cares for its animals.”

The bill proposes that zoos will no longer be able to buy or breed non-native species and once their existing exotic animals die, they will be replaced with native animals, unless it has a captive-breeding agreement in place.

Shops will be unable to sell or display pets, with animals only for sale through registered breeders, and any pet owners whose animal requires treatment for abuse would face 18 months prison time, and 24 months if it dies.

The bill does not cover the traditional Spanish spectacle of bullfighting.