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Crackdown on animal abuse

Animal abusers in Spain have always got easily away from their misdeeds, but this seems to change as the police and courts now are taking this kind of crimes more seriously.

dog-abuseNew laws on animal cruelty have come into force and police have become better at issuing fines when such cases are reported or discovered.

On Wednesday a man in Mallorca started serving time of a one year long sentence after his dog was tied up outside the house in a short leash without any food or water available and without protection from the sun and rain. It was the condemned’s brother who reported the offense in 2013 having found the dog in the owner’s patio in such a poor condition that it could not stand up. The dog was taken to the vet but died three days later.

The judge, María Campos Barciela, wanted to set an example to prevent mistreatment of animals.

horse-abuseOne week earlier the same judge ensured that a horse owner who had beaten his racehorse to death with a metal rod will be serving eight months behind bars.

The horse, which had previously won 24 races, participated in a trotting race where the first prize was 500 €, but the horse broke into gallop and was disqualified. The incident took place in Mallorca in December 2012.

Historical decision

Common practice in Spain is that first time offenders can apply to avoid a prison sentence if the sentence is less than two years. But in both these cases, the judge wanted to send out a message that one can not escape animal cruelty and declined apeales about suspension of imprisonment in both these cases. Thus both the horse owner and the dog owner have ended up behind bars.

The head of the animal protection organization Partido Animalista (PACM), Silvia Barquera, says that they are very pleased that the convicted did not get away this time. Although many others have previously been found guilty of animal cruelty they have all escaped prison sentence.

On Thursday 3 dogs at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria were rescued by police after a neighbour alerted the police. The dogs were severely malnourished and lived under very poor conditions. The owner of these 3 dogs is risking a fine from €1,200 and up.

One of the dogs that were rescued by police in Las Palmas. Photo: Policia Local

One of the dogs that were rescued by police in Las Palmas. Photo: Policia Local