Rising use of poison is wiping out Ronda wildlife

LAST UPDATED: 15 May, 2014 @ 16:12
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Rising use of poison is wiping out Ronda wildlife

ENVIRONMENTAL group Silvema is calling for increased action and tougher sentences after an alarming increase in the use of banned poisons in Ronda and the Sierra de Ronda.

The use of poison is a crime punishable by up to two years in prison, but many hunters and farmers continue to break this law.

In 2013 the Guardia Civil made several high-profile discoveries, including two hunting grounds where they found several poisoned baits and a significant amount of poison.

In October, the Guardia Civil discovered one of the biggest stocks of poison ever found in Andalucia, in a farm south of Ronda. The authorities, however, are yet to charge anyone.

Silvema has called for farmers that use poisons to have their grants and aid suspended, as they breach the code of good agricultural and livestock practice.

The group warns, however, that this just the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of protected animals have been killed every year for decades in the Serrania de Ronda, a region notorious for the poisoning of wildlife.

Hunters use poison to remove predators, while farmers use it to control threats to livestock, for example packs of feral dogs.

But the poison is indiscriminately killing other endangered wildlife, such as Griffon Vultures.

Silvema warns that anyone finding the body of an animal they suspect may have been poisoned should never touch it and report it immediately to the regional authorities or call the Guardia Civil on 062.

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