Clamping down on illegal poisoning: Spain’s VENENO project

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Clamping down on illegal poisoning: Spain’s VENENO project

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Environmental compliance assurance and combatting environmental crime (Science for Environment Policy)

Poisoned bait is a major threat to endangered bird species in Europe. The LIFE+ VENENO project was set up to tackle this problem in Spain, developing an action plan for eradication of the illegal use of poison and protocols for law enforcement. As well as improving the prosecution of illegal poisoning in Spain, LIFE+ VENENO provides a useful model for other European countries.

Poisoned bait has been used as a method of pest control for hundreds of years. Poisons are used to kill animals that are regarded as detrimental to agriculture or hunting, such as wolves and
raptors, as well as those seen as a nuisance, including feral dogs and cats. However, this poses a threat to biodiversity. Poisons used in baits are also often non-selective and therefore affect non-target species, including domestic animals and endangered species.

During the past 10 years, approximately 7000 endangered animals have been killed by poison, including eagles, kites, vultures and brown bears. Poison also kills hundreds of pets every year and poses a risk to public health, as it may contaminate game species, such as rabbits, wild boar and partridge, which are consumed by people.

In Spain, poison use of this kind has been a documented activity for over 100 years, but was made illegal in 1983. Despite the change in law, the practice has continued.

“During its four years of operation, VENENO achieved legislative change, ensuring that regional governments in Spain implement tools for preventing and prosecuting poisoning cases.”

To see full article click here (pag 32-33). (2016_environmental_compliance_combatt)


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