The Swiss environmentalist and animal protection organisation Franz Weber Foundation (FWF) has denounced the proliferation of serious cases of animal abuse in the parks of the autonomous region of Galicia, north-western Spain, and has expressed concerns about the “feeling of impunity” generated by the lack of identification of the perpetrators of these acts.
The NGO has given as examples the point-blank shots against a stray cat in A Estrada, causing the loss of an eye, the placement of baits with blades in several parks in Vigo, the capital of Galicia, and the use of poison to kill stray dogs. All such activities are currently illegal under the regional animal protection legislation, but it is urgent to reform the Criminal Code with amendments that would guarantee a toughening of penalties against those responsible for such serious cases of cruelty. FWF has also asked that regional regulations should give fines of up to 30,000 euros to the perpetrators — if ever found — and should be disqualified for a maximum of five years for the possession of animals.
FFW has also asked that all political formations should take very seriously the future national Animal Protection Law in Spain after some parties presented amendments to the totality demanding the withdrawal of the text. Recently, there were complaints when the PSOE, the party with the majority in the Spanish congress, proposed an amendment that would exclude dogs used for hunting from the protection of the new law. The abandonment and killing of greyhounds (galgos) after being used for hunting is one of the major animal protection problems of the country, but, like in many other countries, the hunting lobby is powerful, and now has shown how much it can influence the parties in power.