There were protests in Ibiza over the cull of goats on the islet of Es Vedra. | Toni Escobar


The culling of one hundred wild goats on the Galatzo finca in Calvia has outraged animal-rights organisations, which are preparing legal action against the regional government for having permitted the shoot and against the town hall for having requested it.

The cull was carried out by the consortium for the recovery of fauna (Cofib), which falls under the environment and agriculture ministry. It was carried out at the end of last year and only became public knowledge when an opposition politician, the Partido Popular's Bartomeu Bonafé, raised the matter at the most recent council meeting.

According to a lawyer who specialises in animal rights, Francisco Capacete, there was a lack of transparency which contravened European and Spanish laws. In his opinion, the government and the town hall should have made the cull a matter for public consultation and have therefore informed ecological associations and allowed them to have expressed their views.

There was, he argues, the same dynamic of secrecy regarding the Galatzo cull as there had been with the one on the islet of Es Vedra, a case which has been brought before the courts. If the associations can find the finance, Capacete notes, they will take the Galatzo case to court as well.

Pacma, which is the animal-rights political party, has already announced that it plans legal action. Its president, Silvia Barquero, says that its action will seek to stop the slaughter of goats in the Tramuntana mountains in the same way as it has managed to prevent the cull of 2,700 goats in the Guadarrama mountains on the mainland.

She adds that the party intends to demand that the regional government demonstrates its commitment to animal welfare by stopping culls and implementing ethical codes for animal control. Capacete adds that there are "less bloody" means for controlling wild goat population which are contained in laws for biodiversity protection.

Guillermo Amengual, the spokesperson for AnimaNaturalis, agrees that there are alternatives and he criticises the government and town hall for not having sought opinion, with the result that the courts will be involved, as they are with Es Vedra. He is scathing also of authorities which "sell" animal protection and then do the opposite. In Calvia, there was a town hall declaration, led by PSOE and the Esquerra Oberta (Open Left), of being an animal-friendly municipality, free of mistreatment.

Cofib, for its part, says that procedures are followed to avoid animals suffering unnecessarily, adding that it is growing tired of "defamation" which is motivated by interests which have nothing to do with conservation or biodiversity.