A new animal welfare and road safety campaign was launched across the country yesterday.
The Traffic department and national animal welfare organisations have joined forces to launch the campaign aimed at dissuading the public from abandoning their pets on or near roads.
Entitled Abandonment causes accidents the project is aimed to raise public awareness about the high numbers of dogs which are simply abandoned by their owners in Spain and the tragic consequences that their actions can have.
The campaign will be running for the whole summer in an effort to reduce the 12'000 traffic accidents which were registered last year in Spain involving animals which had been abandoned, double the amount recorded in 2004.
As a result 168 people were injured last year and one person died. The Traffic department and animal welfare organisations will be providing information to people who travel with dogs in their car as well as providing some practical advice to people who decide to go away on holiday either with or without their pets.
Such information stands will be set up at 86 key service stations across the country.
The Traffic department said that in terms of accident figures involving animals, percentages had gone up in all regions of Spain in comparison with numbers registered in 2004.
Particularly high were Castilla y Leon where 22.2 percent of all accidents involve animals and in Andalucia (18.3%). Only 1.7 percent of accidents in the Balearics involve animals.