Sunday, 26 November 2023, 19:00
Guardia Civil officers are investigating 58 people for allegedly cutting the ears and tails off of more than 1,000 dogs in towns dotted throughout Andalucía.
A vet in Úbeda in Jaén was arrested for allegedly falsifying documents to provide legal cover for the illegal mutilation, which involved 1,111 dogs in Almeria, Granada, Malaga, Jaén, Córdoba and Seville. The veterinarian allegedly noted on health records for the animals that the ears were cropped and tails were docked under anaesthesia for a surgical procedure only allowed for specific health reasons, without actually having performed the surgery or seeing the dogs.
The Guardia Civil started their investigations in August when officers inspected packs of dogs in the towns of Picena and Domingo Pérez in Granada. Police found 26 with their tails and ears cut off, and with the same health card and explanation. They were allegedly signed off by the veterinarian from Úbeda without any other evidence specifying what caused the need for the surgery.
At the same time, another police patrol from the Sevillian town of Cazalla de la Sierra found several packs of dogs, including some puppies, with the same mutilation. The Granada and Seville patrols coordinated their efforts and formed the investigation where more than 2,000 dogs were inspected throughout the region and 1,111 found to have been illegally mutilated by their owners. Of the 58 people being investigated, 15 are from the province of Granada, 18 in Jaen, 12 in Seville, six in Cordoba, four in Almeria and three in Malaga.
The cropping of ears and docking of tails in dogs was a traditional practice by the owners themselves for aesthetic reasons, to prevent dogs from getting rabies, or tangling themselves in bushes or weeds while working in fields.
But Spain banned the cruel practice in 2018, with congress deeming the act as animal cruelty. The crime is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment or a fine.
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