THE environmental branch of the Guardia Civil, Seprona, has undertaken a massive check on the treatment of animals in Malaga Province with more than 300 thought to be abused.
Working with a team of veterinarians, the Junta de Andalucia and animal protection societies, officers suspect 50 people of mistreatment or abuse and visited 200 premises – both public and private.
The main problems appeared to be with the poor conditions in which the animals (mainly dogs) were being kept, lack of hygiene and treatment when injured or ill, animals allowed to run wild without receiving regular food or water and in some cases deliberately caused injuries from beatings.
Those animals which were clearly in a very poor state were removed whilst others were left with their owners who will be checked to ensure that they are being treated properly.
Those who are found guilty of deliberately mistreating their animals could face fines of up to €30,000 and for the worst cases imprisonment of up to 18 months.
What is not clear however is what the eventual fate of those removed from their owners will be, as there is a general lack of free facilities across the province for the care of sick or abused animals.