THE GUARDIA CIVIL’S Nature Protection Service (Seprona) is investigating the appearance of pesticides disguised as dog treats around Torremolinos.
The officers have warned the crime, which was reported by residents, carries a fine of up to €300,000 and up to two years in prison. Police have also warned dog and cat owners the poison, which has been strategically placed in areas frequented by animals, could be lethal and also poses a threat to children.
Two of the pesticides used, aldicarb and carbofuran, are banned by the European Union due to the danger they pose to public health, according to the Ministry for the Environment, while Torremolinos Council has warned the colourful chemical which comes in a powder form could look like candy to children.
Aldicarb, which has been banned since 2007, is described as a “deadly weapon” by animal activists as it stops the respiratory system, while carbofuran is one of the deadliest pesticides and can kill a bird with a single grain.
An animal charity, Animal Liberation, has said there is often a rise in poisonings in residential coastal areas during the summer months, with El Pinillo being one of the worst affected. They commented, “the pools open and some cats start to go near them. Dogs also come out more and people complaining.” The Guardia Civil have also criticised people for putting sulphur down on roads in an effort to keep animals away, saying it is illegal, as well as “useless, toxic, dangerous and polluting.”
The authorities recommend anyone finding a poisoned animal to not touch it and instead call the police or Seprona and ask for the area to be cleaned in case of further poison. The Ministry of the Environment has also collaborated with Seprona to launch the Andalucian Strategy Against Poison (EAV) to raise “social awareness and encourage the prevention of poison use as well as promoting police action.”