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Title: Do court sentences reflect the reality of wildlife poisoning in the natural environment? The Spanish case.
Issue Date: 12-Jul-2020
Date of creation: Jan-2020
Related subjects: CDU::6 - Ciencias aplicadas::63 - Agricultura. Silvicultura. Zootecnia. Caza. Pesca::639 - Caza. Pesca. Piscicultura
Keywords: Wildlife poisoning
Court sentences
Abstract: Although poisoning of wildlife is considered, since 1995, as a crime by the Spanish Penal Code, it is a deeply rooted habit of the population. The illegal use of poisoned baits to kill “unwanted” animals, such as predators, and specially birds of prey is a great threat for both domestic and wild animals. Poisons to kill animals are not selective; therefore animals poisoned by baits or other legally used pesticides, may suffer secondary poisonings. In Spain, according to WWF, between 1992-2013, the number of animals poisoned reached 18,503 individuals, including kites, vultures, eagles, wolves and bears. According to the Life+Veneno Project, 80 Court sentences about wildlife poisoning have been pronounced in Spain between 1994 and 2019. The aim of this study was to review these sentences comparing the data with epidemiologic data reported by the regional authorities, in order to evaluate if the court sentences reflect the real situation of wildlife poisoning in Spain. The compounds involved in poisonings in those sentences partly match with those found in the document published in 2016 by WWF and SEO/Birdlife. Aldicarb and carbofuran are the compounds most commonly used to kill wildlife, followed to a lesser extent, by two convulsivant compounds (strychnine and endosulfan), other cholinesterase inhibitors and a second generation anticoagulant rodenticide, bromadiolone. The court sentences handed down in Spain include 439 poisoned animals, mainly birds (72%) and mammals (25%). Fifty percent of these animals (n=215) are necrophagous: 114 Black kites (Milvus migrans), 42 Red kites (Milvus milvus), 41 Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), 10 Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus), 6 Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), 1 Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and 1 Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The mean time elapsed between the crime and delivery of the judgment of the Court of First Instance is close to 3 years (median, 2 years). According to the Spanish Penal Code, this offence carries a maximum prison sentence of two years and/or economic fines. Moreover the poisoner can be disqualified from exercising the right to passive suffrage and the right to practice hunting activities. The vast majority of the Court sentences concluded with guilty verdicts (n=74, 92.5%). Imprisonment sentences were imposed in 32 of the trials; while economic fines and disqualification to hunting activities were imposed in 60 of them.
Primary author: García Fernández, Antonio Juan
Navas, Isabel
Simal, Jorge
María-Mojica, Pedro
Jiménez, Pedro
Faculty / Departments / Services: Facultades, Departamentos, Servicios y Escuelas::Facultades de la UMU::Facultad de Veterinaria
Published in: SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, SciCon, Dublin 2020
Document type: info:eu-repo/semantics/lecture
Number of pages / Extensions: 1
Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Sponsor: Servicio de Toxicología y Veterinaria Forense
Appears in Collections:Ponencias y comunicaciones

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