The Legal Regulations of Sport Hunting

The Spanish Hunting Federation, as well as the elaboration of its rules, is guided by hunting laws. But, what are the legal regulations of sport hunting?
The Legal Regulations of Sport Hunting

Last update: 19 March, 2020

In practice, the legal regulations of sport hunting in Spain, fundamentally depend on the Spanish Hunting Federation (FECAZA). This entity is primarily responsible for regulating and promoting sport hunting throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It’s also in charge of organizing the main competitions on a national level and granting hunting licenses.

In Spain, everything related to the control of sport hunting consists of powers transferred to the autonomous communities. Because of this, there are both national and regional regulations. There are also differentiated rules on a local level, as we’ll see in more detail below.

Therefore, every hunter should be aware of the FECAZA requirements and the regional laws that apply to practice their activity legally. To make this easier, we’ve prepared information about some frequent doubts regarding the regulations of sport hunting in Spain.

In some cases, the division of competences between the Spanish national state and the autonomous governments may raise doubts for hunters; especially for those who are only starting out in sport hunting and aren’t familiar with its legal regulations and the requirements to practice it ethically and legally.

First, we must take into account that, on a national level, the main legal framework for this activity is based on the Hunting Law of 1970. However, the autonomous communities hold the powers related to sport hunting.

Likewise, it’s evident that municipal bylaws and regional norms cannot contradict national laws. However, they can legislate on the fines applicable to crimes related to the illegal practice of hunting, for example.

A man hunting during the sunset while following the proper legal regulations of sport hunting

Having made this brief explanation, let’s move on to the first frequent question regarding the legal regulations of sport hunting in Spain. This is dedicated to beginner hunters:

To become a hunter, you need to be duly authorized by the competent authorities. In addition to obtaining a hunting license, it’s also essential to process a permit for the use of firearms.

However, exercising this activity legally in Spain isn’t just about checking that you have the necessary physical and psychological conditions. It’s also essential to respect the established limits in order to maintain the balance between the preservation of ecosystems and the practice of sport hunting.

For this reason, it’s very important that hunters know and respect the authorized times and spaces for the development of their activity. On that same line, they must not invade environmental conservation areas or target species that are protected by law, whether they’re indigenous or at risk of extinction.

What do I have to do to get a hunting license?

The hunting license certifies that its holder has the authorization to legally practice sport hunting. Many autonomous communities have signed a collaboration agreement that allows the hunter to apply for a single inter-autonomous license, which is valid for the entire territory of the autonomous communities that celebrate this agreement.

To apply for a hunting license in Spain, you need to go to a delegation from the Environment Ministry or to the closest official representative in your place of residence. To make your request, remember to submit the following documentation:

  • A copy of your ID card.
  • Proof of payment of compulsory civil liability insurance.
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fees.
  • Passing in the hunter’s exam (only in case of first authorization).
A man holding a hunting rifle on top of a mountain

Is hunting without compulsory insurance a crime?

After the changes made in the Spanish Penal Code in 2015, there was a differentiation between crimes and criminal offenses. Because of this, many hunters have begun to wonder whether or not hunting without compulsory insurance is currently a crime in Spain.

To avoid misunderstandings, it’s necessary to differentiate between the compulsory insurance and other coverages that a hunter can get. To obtain a hunting license, it’s essential to look into contracting civil liability insurance. The coverage of this compulsory insurance must meet the minimum requirements provided in the Hunting Law.

Currently, there’s also a wide variety of special hunters’ insurance with various extra coverages. However, only civil liability insurance is mandatory to hunt legally in Spain.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.