Animal abuse cases in Spain have risen 400 per cent in a decade

An Andalucían Podenco is a common hunting breed in Spain. CREDIT: Flickr

The number of recorded animal abuse crimes has increased by over 400 per cent in the past 10 years according to new data published by the Guardia Civil and Environmental Protection Organisation Seprona.

Under the umbrella term ‘Environmental Crime’ the cases of animal abuse have been the most prolific since 2007. Ten years ago there was a total of 130 reported cases of animal cruelty. This figure rose to 606 in 2017.

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The statistics also record other crimes including illegal hunting, illegal fishing and animal trafficking, however a total of 85 per cent of reported crimes involve animal cruelty and neglect.

Seprona is also keen to point out the figures are not directly indicative of a rise in the acts of abuse, but more the act of reporting and prosecuting the abuse.

According to this report, which is part of the LIFE Guardianes de la Naturaleza project, the number of abuse instances that have led to prosecution has increased from 108 in 2008 to 914 in 2018.

Asunción Ruiz, executive director of the Seprona organisation, said that social awareness is playing more of a key role in prosecuting perpetrators of these crimes.

“More and more people and organisations take the step of denouncing the possible infractions they detect; as citizens, we are increasingly aware that we cannot look the other way, we cannot keep silent in the face of aggressions against nature.”

A full report is due to be released in October to discover the effectiveness of current environmental laws and to further combat the crime of animal neglect here in Spain.


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