In a statement this weekend, the environmental branch of the Guardia Civil, SEPRONA, announced that they detained 339 people for crimes against the environment in 2012, of which they charged more than 140 people for offenses related to pets, stopped 60 forest fires and more than 50 wildlife crimes.

In addition to those arrested, an additional 1,098 people were indicted for crimes related to the environment, as the group registered a total of 99,585 complaints during the year, 2,005 of them for criminal offenses and 97,580 for administrative offenses.

The offences with the highest number of complaints received was for improper waste management, for which there were 17,373 records, although the collective group for legislation regulating hunting, fishing and animal health combined saw 21,567 files opened.

In relation to cases of forest fires in 2012, the officers assisted in incidents that led to 2,767 casualties, the deaths of 6 people and in the evacuation of 22,521 people affected or at risk of fire.

There were 145 investigations into poisoned bait, in which 342 animals were killed and the subsequent arrest of 16 people, responsible in part for the deaths of at least 60 griffon vultures and 42 foxes, the largest groups to have suffered this kind of crime.

Regarding the interventions made in the protection of domestic animals, there were 1,505 investigations into animal abuse or neglect, resulting in 164 cases in criminal violations which led to the arrest of 19 people and the imputation of another 112.

The figures were released to go some way of showing the dedication of the environmental law enforcers, as well as to remind those who commit this sort of offence that the Guardia Civil are active in investigating cases across the country.

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