AN Alicante Province farmer has avoided prison over eight counts of animal abuse involving several dogs.

Despite prosecutors at his Benidorm trial wanting him jailed for four-and-a-half years and a compensation order of €20,000, a plea bargain deal saw him given 18 months behind bars- suspended for two years.

He will also have to pay €6,000 to La Nucia’s animal shelter for taking care of the dogs- the payments coming in €250 monthly instalments.

Guardia Civil officers and animal shelter volunteers inspected the man’s farm in Polop three years ago and found seven dogs in a deplorable state with a variety of injuries.

A dead dog was also discovered inside a bag.

All of the animals were thin and malnourished and lived in unhygienic conditions.

In his guilty pleas, the farmer said he kept the dogs ‘with the intention of causing damage to the existence and integrity of domestic animals’.

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