STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
A total of 250 people were reported for mistreating domestic animals in the Balearics last year, according to the Commander of the Guardia Civil's Nature protection brigade SEPRONA.

Guardia Civil commander Jose Antonio Ramos revealed the figures yesterday during an environmental conference he attended at the Black Vulture Foundation in Campanet.

Ramos said that that year, SEPRONA handled a total of 2'400 cases including planning law infractions, failure to comply with the animal health and safety rules and regulations, 400 illegal hunting incidents, 240 cases of domestic animals being mistreated and a number of incidents involving owners of animals not having the required permits and licenses.

FOREST FIRES
SEPRONA is not only responsible for animal and environmental welfare and enforcing the law, the brigade also fronts the forest fire prevention and detection campaign and Ramos said that last year there was a notable decline in the number of forest fires and the hectares destroyed in the Balearics and across Spain. “We went from 150'000 hectares devastated by forest fires in 2007 to 40'000 last year - one of least active for the past 20 years,” Ramos told the conference.

Here in the Balearics, there are a total of 40 SEPRONA agents, 32 of those based in Majorca, and the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Miguel Angel Grimalt, yesterday praised the Guardia Civil for the excellent work the brigade does to protect the environment.

Grimalt said that his ministry and SEPRONA are committed to strictly enforcing the environmental and animal welfare laws and added that people that have been arrested and found guilty of violating the laws, have been severely punished.

The Minister also said that public cooperation has also proven extremely helpful and urged people to continue reporting anything suspicious to SEPRONA.

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