THE number of known animal abuse cases in Spain, in which police took action in 2021, amounts to a total of 5,752—14% more than in 2020—and has led to the arrest or investigation of 4,509 people.

The criminal typologies that increased the most in 2021 were those related to the mistreatment of domestic animals which saw the specific police force (SEPRONA) take action against 552 individuals from a total of 957 crimes reported.

The number of forest fires also increased, with 483 crimes reported and 374 people arrested and investigated for the burning of natural habitats.

Additionally there have been 19,313 complaints made related to ‘discharges and waste’ a further 11,344 complaints made related to pets, animal health 9,451 and 5,326 actions related to water contamination.

The year has seen several ‘operations’ take place uncovering various clandestine activities including Operation ‘Cairless’, where the Murcia SEPRONA dismantled an illegal cockfighting tent. Four people were arrested, 31 roosters with serious injuries were located, money for illegal bets and veterinary medicines were found.

Operation “Taciturno”, saw a clandestine dog kennel located by the SEPRONA of Granada. More than 500 dogs of different breeds were involved in the operation, where the vocal cords of the animals were cut. The alleged perpetrators were charged with up to 31 crimes.

Among the different actions against poaching, Operation ‘Hoyuela’, saw the arrest in Avila of twelve people responsible for crimes against flora, fauna and domestic animals and illegal possession of weapons.

This operation began when 17 specimens of the male ibex (Capra Pyrenaica) were found killed.

The rise in reported animal abuse cases is believed to reflect an increase in the number of reports made to the police by animal welfare groups and citizens amid a heightened social interest over the matter.

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