By Jason Moore
THE local police in Ca´n Picafort are hunting “three masked people” for ignoring council regulations by releasing live ducks during a centuries old local custom on Sunday.

For many years live ducks were thrown on to swimmers in Ca´n Picafort as part of the area´s festivities but animal rights groups got the event banned two years ago saying that it was cruel because many of the ducks suffered serious injury. The council intervened and said that the event could go ahead as long as plastic ducks replaced the live ones. Some residents were not impressed and claimed that it was a local custom and shouldn´t be banned. On Sunday the “three masked people” took action and released various live ducks during the “celebrations.” There are allegations that some of the ducks were killed as the three tried to avoid police. In an interview with our sister newspaper, Ultima Hora, the three hit back saying that all of Ca´n Picafort supported their acts.

Wearing masks to conceal their identities they said that they had released live ducks but said that it was a humane act because all the ducks they had bought would have ended up in the kitchen pot if they hadn´t been released. They rejected claims that the event was cruel and said that it was ridiculous to use plastic ducks because it made a mockery of the whole event.

But the Ca´n Picafort council are not taking their actions lightly and have called in the local police and the Civil Guard to track down the three. They said that a compromise had to be reached with the local authorities.

This is another example of how the local authorities are cracking down on local custom involving animals which many believe are cruel and should be banned. The Balearic goverment is already under pressure to stop bullfighting and introduce a similar ban as the one which already exists in Barcelona.

However, many of the so-called “traditionalists” say that these events are part of local heritage.
If the three in Ca´n Picafort are detained they could be charged with a whole series of offences including animal cruelty.


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