An Estepona animal charity is warning parents and pet owners to be on their guard after poisonous canisters were placed in housing developments around the town.
Volunteer run ADANA said that the canisters contained a toxic substance and had been fixed to walls in neighbourhoods including Ronda en el Mar.
It is thought that rats and stray cats are being targeted but local residents have expressed concerns that pets and young children could be poisoned.
One worried resident in the port area said: “These canisters have openings and are fixed at a height which can easily be accessed by young children. The poison could kill not only these so-called unwanted cats but could also poison much-loved pets.”
Mary Page, Vice-President of ADANA, the Estepona-based dog rescue charity, said: “Smaller dogs could also get to this poison,” before adding that she believed it was against the law to put any toxic substance in any area where there is access for the public.
She added that the cats were invaluable in keeping down vermin and that many residents and visitors enjoyed feeding them.
“What is needed is a programme of trapping, neutering and returning. We are working to achieve this aim not only in the port but in other areas of Estepona, such as the Palacio de Congresos.”
The warning comes after this newspaper warned of sickening attacks on street cats in the El Faro area of the town last September. It was reported how local youths had been beating cats with metal bars and had kicked one so hard its intestines burst from its body.