Nacho Paunero, president of El Refugio, and some friends

The Prosecutor of Cádiz has requested a year in prison for the director, the manager and the two veterinarians who operate the kennels of Puerto Real, accused of crimes of animal cruelty, for sacrificing animals in their facility in order to save costs. They have also asked for a three year disqualification period prohibiting them from being active in any profession, trade or business that is related to the animals.

The El Refugio animal protection group had asked for an 18 month prison sentence, after an investigation into the centre revealed that they routinely administered the drug Mioflex, for which the “animal literally dies from drowning and are aware of it”.

In the prosecution case notes, the explanation states that “the practice of such sacrifices are so cruel and painful and were ordered by the defendants in the exercise of their powers of leadership and management in order to reduce costs, since the price of medicines that are used in an ethical and regulated euthanasia is considerably higher”.

Both senior members of staff were aware, according to the prosecution, that “such practices were performed by veterinarians from the centre”, with the intention of obtaining “a greater benefit”, but with a “lack of sensitivity” to the animals.

Nacho Paunero, president of El Refugio, has very much applauded the decision of the prosecutor, as it represents “a step forward in protecting animals” and this case is yet another first for Spain in which animal abusers are brought to justice.

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