Dog at the table, fish on the plate

‘And what if the dog bites one of the customers? How do we know the dog isn’t sick?’ utters José Manuel Esteves, director of the Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHRESP). ‘Than we will be responsible!’
Eunice Marcelino, attorney at the Public Ministry is less concerned. ‘Pets are already allowed on terraces and that has never raised any concerns.’

As of next week, a new law enters into force allowing pets in restaurants and bars. ‘With domestic animals, one automatically thinks of cats and dogs but in our legal proposal domestic is not strictly defined’, explains Cristina Rodriguez, MP of the party for Persons, Animals, and Nature (PAN) and one of the submitters of the proposal.

This implicates that any pet is allowed as long as the owner of the restaurant – who always has the final say – raises no objections and the animal is leashed. ‘But the law is of course drafted with dogs in mind, which usually accompany their owners’, declares Maria do Céu Sampaio, president of the League for Animal Rights.

In most European countries domestic animals are tolerated in food courts.
France is the most pet-friendly in this respect, Scandinavia least.
Small dogs are in general no problem in Italy and Germany but for large dogs, eyebrows are raised.

More than half of the Portuguese households have a pet, which is often considered as ‘member of the family’ or ‘friend.’ Most popular are dogs (42%), ranking well before cats (22%), birds (18%) and fish (5%).
They consume on average around 15% of the family budget.

According to an investigation in April by the Association for Consumer Protection (DECO), only 20% of the owners consider taking their four-legged friend out to dinner.
‘One of the favorable side effects of this new law might be, that owners are now more motivated to raise their dogs properly, concludes Maria do Céu.

(pic SAPO/Público)

‘Don’t kill our elderly’  people shouted in front of Parliament on May 29.

Euthanasia continues to be a crime with prison sentences ranging from two to five years in “the land of the Maria’s” as Parliament rejected with 115 against 110 votes a proposal of the ruling left-wing parties last week to decriminalize assisted death. It was the Social Democratic PSD – the country’s biggest opposition party – who held the key for change but in the end, nearly all their members voted against the legislation.

That the conservative Christian Democratic CDS – fiercely supported by the Catholic church – would vote against, was no more than expected. The surprise during the vote was the unanimous ‘njet’ of the Communist PCP, despite a comment of Mariana Mortágua, MP of activist party BE (Left Block).
She reminded her leftist colleagues of the historical words of Nobel Prize winner and militant communist José Saramago on the Spanish tetraplegic Ramon Sampredo, who wanted to die. ‘Nobody has the right to say: just stay attached to those (ventilation) tubes. We don’t kill but respect those who ask us: please help me.’

Euthanasia – good death in old Greek – is allowed in 4 European and 2 South American countries, Canada and 5 North American states. The Netherlands was the first country legalizing euthanasia in 2002. Although under strict conditions and carried out by a physician who knows the patient well.
In Belgium assisted death for minors became available in 2014.

‘There has been a lot of progression in the last two years regarding the right for everyone to die decently’, declares João Semedo, physician and ex-coordinator of the Left Block in response to the election results. ‘Acceptance of euthanasia is just a matter of time and the topic will undoubtedly return in next year’s elections.’

Bom fim de semana              Enjoy the weekend                        (pic Sapo)