OFFICERS of the Guardia Civil in Elche have dismantled nine illegal exotic bird organisations.
During their operation, they found a total of 153 various protected species of birds including macaws, parrots and cockatoos located in one shop and eight locations found in the Elche countryside.
Charges of the keeping, breeding and selling such exotic species were brought, and a total of 89 separate offences were recorded with those carrying out the illegal operation found to be lacking the necessary local authority licenses, official zoological accreditations and hygiene certificates.
Many of the bird species found originate from the South American rainforests and can be sold for a considerable profit. The police focused their attention on the countryside properties which had been officially declared by the owners as ‘private zoological collections’, when in fact they were being used as breeding grounds for future trading.
Three of the birds found – two red-tailed grey parrots and a blue-and-yellow macaw – have been taken to the Rio Safari in Elche as they have a higher protection status than the other species.