Seven locals from Tierra de Barros (Badajoz) were arrested for cruelty to animals. Also arrested was a vet charged with the same and forgery.
It was in August that Seprona (Guardia Civil environmental department) based in Hornachos got wind of the corpse of a greyhound next to a sack full of bones in a field in Ribera del Fresno.
The police inspected the corpse and were able to track down the owner thanks to the ID chip, who turned out to be from the same town as the find. When they spoke to him he confessed that he had taken it to a vet to be put down because “it hadn’t lived up to his expectations as a hunting dog.”
The animals remains and other evidence find at the site were handed over to the Departamento de Medio Ambiente belonging to the Servicio de Criminalística de la DGGC for forensic analysis. They did this because they had reason to suspect that this was not just a one-off case of a dog being put down because its hunting capacity and that a local vet was heavily involved in this illegal practice.
The investigation turned up ten suspects all locals from around the surrounding area (comarca) who had had 46 young, healthy dogs put down between them, the majority of which were greyhounds.
All of these euthanasias were carried out by the same vet, who used a lethal injection without a prior sedative, according to the Guardia Civil. All of these acts contravene the law on domestic animals (Ley 5/2002) as well as the European Convention for Pet Protection, and not to mention the veterinary ethical code.
Furthermore it was found that the vet allegedly falsified his entries for the Pet Identification Register (RIACE) where the cause of death had to be entered, marking them down as either caused by accident or illness instead of euthanasia.
Editorial comment: it has long been a sick custom of hunters (not all) using greyhounds for hunting to hang them when they consider they are past their prime or just generally disappointing. As this custom attracted furious criticism leading to Seprona cracking down on the practice, it now appears that they have found a new way of disposal.
(News: Badajoz, Extremadura)