THE Guardia Civil made several arrests in connection with an alleged exportation of two sick zebras to Dubai, a press release from February 22 details.
Those detained are accused of submitting the blood of healthy donkeys to a veterinarian, in order to acquire official export documentation.
In cooperation with Madrid’s Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Environment, the Guardia Civil established that false blood samples were being used.
Investigations began in February 2015 following a complaint that an establishment dedicated to the sale of animals could be mistreating animals, including birds, wolves, otters and European lynx.
On searching the premises, officers became aware that documents required for animals leaving the country were being falsified by the organisation, members of whom are reported to have used a farm worker’s signature on ‘forged’ certificates.
Selling nationally, in the towns of Murcia, Avila, Cadiz, Seville and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, as well as exporting the creatures to international locations, the group are alleged to have repeatedly sold sick animals, some of which died shortly afterwards.
While in the ownership of their illegal exporters, the animals allegedly lived in poor sanitary conditions, with some of them falling ill and being slaughtered in an inhumane manner.
The accused face charges of forgery, fraud, animal abuse, and belonging to a criminal group involved in the sale and movement of animals at a national and international level.