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THE Balearic Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will give a 45'000 annual grant to the service for catching stray dogs around the villages on Majorca. The service is managed by the Nature Parks Foundation and the money will be used to employ more specialised people and to improve the methods used.
The Minister, Margalida Moner, explained yesterday after signing a collaboration agreement with the President of the Foundation, Antoni Mas, that with this agreement they are trying to satisfy an old demand from farmers, who every year see lots of their animals killed by attacks from packs of wild dogs. These attacks also cause general panic among flocks and herds which, for many pregnant females, brings on a miscarriage. According to the agreement, a new stray dog catcher will be appointed with the money given by the Ministry of Agriculture. This person will organise the existing team consisting of four professionals directed by a vet. Also another vehicle will be bought which will bring the Foundation's fleet to four, and a trailer. The Foundation has an emergency telephone line open 24 hours a day every day and sends its experts to areas where there have been attacks on flocks or herds. There they set up baited cages to trap the dogs. Once trapped, they are taken to the kennels at Son Reus. As a consequence of these actions throughout 2005 a total of 839 dogs were caught on all Majorca, except Palma, with between three and five interventions daily. This brought about an “important fall” in attacks according to Mas. The head of the Foundation explained that on Majorca there is little probability of truly wild dogs as all the dogs they had captured were dogs which had been abandoned by their owners or had escaped from their homes. The towns most affected by these attacks were Algaida, with 25 dogs captured in just 15 days, and Soller, Sencelles, Santa Maria and Manacor.
According to one expert, there are more attacks when the dogs combine into packs of between three and six animals. These attacks are usually more violent because they make the attacks to unite the group rather than to get food.