Living with horses in Spain.

Importing & Living with HORSES IN SPAIN

The first thing to know is that unlike in the UK, you cannot simply have a property, rented or owned with land and keep a horse on it.

Each province has different criteria as to the obtaining of the relevant licences to keep horses and or transport them – there is also a cost associated with obtaining the REGA licence which again varies from province to province and can be anywhere between 50€ to 200€.

A good place to start is your town hall and then the OCA – Agricultural Department in each city. As the requirement are variable – some provinces requiring the REGA licence for just one horse and others for two or more – it is best to check with your local vet or town hall first.
The process also varies from province to province but usually means a Department of Agriculture (OCA) assigned Vet checking the facilities and those facilities will need to include a minimum of running water, field shelter and adequate fencing. Before the vet comes out – you will also probably need Town hall approval for a Licencia Ambiertal.

.If you are importing a horse to Spain– you must ensure that it is delivered to the care of an approved stable with adequate REGA licences.

Stables holding REGA licences are now liable to big fines if they transport or sell a horse to a property or owner that does not hold a REGA licence. The onus is on the stables holding the REGA Licence to ensure horses are being delivered to a licenced property.

There are also big fines imposed if the paperwork is not saved as these can be spot inspected at any time, as well as movement papers. If stopped and the correct movement papers are not available – again big fines. If moving your horse through a number of different provinces – you need to check the movement requirements for each province – in Murcia and Alicante a Movement paper (along with passports etc.) are required but in Almeria there is a ‘book’ system.

Recently New Changes to OCA License for horse owners in Spain name has now changed to “Registro de Explotación” (Farm Registry). Also known as REGA

In order to apply for this licence in Andalucía (that is for up to 5 horses on the same plot) first you must comply with the following:

· The plot of land must be completely fenced.

· There must be shading for the horses; this means a wooden/concrete shelter. The Junta de Andalucía will approve no other type of shelter. As some of you know, you can’t build in the countryside anymore, therefore if the plot already has some sort of shelter, this may be adapted and used, but if it doesn’t, a new shelter has to be put up. It will have to be wooden and the wood provided from the carpenter must be a specific wood for this type of sheltering, the varnish applied on the wood can’t be toxic and it must also be waterproofed. However permission must also be requested from the local town hall. This shouldn’t be an inconvenience.

· The plot must also have its own water supply, which may be either town water or well water. If the supply is from a well this water must be analyzed once a year.

· The documentation that must be presented in the Junta de Andalucía is:

· ID of the horse’s owner.

· The Catastral information of the plot if the horse owner is going to rent the plot then the owner of the plot of land must provide a written authorization allowing him/her to use the piece of land for horses.

No admin fees are involved. You have to present the information at the Junta de Andalucía office and the license should be granted in 2 to 3 weeks.

The horse owner will have to apply for it – it will be their name on the license.
Living with horses in Spain
Living with horses in Spain

After making application the ministry vet will inspect the facilities etc. to ensure it is suitable – there is a long list of things they will check but basically it is to ensure the owner can look after the livestock adequately i.e. secure fencing, sufficient grazing land, water, feed storage etc. After that – and assuming favorable – the license will be issued.

HORSES are usually kept in a smaller space in some areas of Spain, unlike the UK where they are able to graze in a sizeable paddock. Shade is very important so unless there are trees it is necessary to erect a shelter of some type.

Their feeding routine is also different and they are usually fed on Paja, Alfalfa and Sugar Beet Pulp with an added amount of cereal depending on what they are being used for.

FARRIERS are not easy to find in some parts of Spain, also a VET, as equine vets are far and few between so enquire at a local Riding Stables or Veterinary Clinic and I am sure they will be able to help.

Horses need to be MICROCHIPPED and registered with the local Agricultural Office. A card has to be stamped once a year and a large fine is imposed if it isn’t!

To TRANSPORT a horse in Spain a MOVEMENT LICENCE has to be obtained from the local Agricultural Office.

The reason that Spain has seriously tightened its laws on owning and keeping horses, is that sadly attitudes towards livestock are not those we are generally used to elsewhere in Europe and to counteract some of the poor housing conditions, the stringent rules for keeping ponies and horses have been dramatically increased and rigidly enforced.

It is also worth noting that each province has its own rules for the keeping of some domestic animals such as dogs. In Murcia province a dog licence is required if you have more than two dogs.

If you have any further questions about living with horses in Spain or importing them and your canine pets, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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