Spain is a marginal performer (“D”) under the VACI, on par with Colombia. The country has a high rate of animal slaughter, significant animal product consumption and inadequate farmed animal protection under the law.
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Livestock accounts for about half of all agricultural production in Spain. Chickens are the most farmed animals, followed by pigs, cows, sheep, and lambs. The country slaughters around 18.6 land-based animals per person per year, compared with a global average of 10.1. The country is a net importer of dairy products and exports live cattle and sheep. Its dependence on farmed animals is moderate, around 4.1 farmed animals per person, which roughly equates to the global average. Factory farming is becoming widespread with pigs, rabbits, chickens and other farmed birds.
The Spanish diet contains a high proportion of animal products, around 57.2% of the average person’s diet made up of land-based animal protein, versus a global average of 35.2%. Each person consumes around 54.2g of land-based animal protein per day compared to a global average of 27.2g. As of 2019, Spain had the highest rabbit meat consumption (51K t) in the EU. Around 1.5% of the population is vegetarian.
Spain is rated as an adequate performer (“C”) under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved a marginal performance rating (“D”) under the same index. Spain is subject to EU legislative requirements for animal protection, but enforcement has not been very effective. Farrowing crates and cages have not been banned, and the ban on sow stalls is limited. Live animal transport practices also need improvement. Learn more about the quality of Spain’s legislative protections on the API here.