Capture and killing of raccoons and parakeets in Madrid

Image of Salma al-Shehab. Credit: [email protected]

The regional government of Madrid has waged a war on raccoons and two different kinds of parakeets.

These exotic species, which were being sold as pets up until December 2011, have gone on the governments “most wanted” list in just five years. The Popular Party (PP) administrator, Ignacio Gonzalez has approved the capturing and killing of the raccoons, monk and rose-ringed parakeet. This has come into force before they become a fully fledged plague.

“There is still time to control their population growth,” says Felipe Ruza, deputy director general of the nature conservation department. Authorities had considered adding the American mink to the list but with it resembling European species such polecats and beech marten, they decided against.

Parakeets are particularly aggressive with pigeons and sparrows that are then forced to migrate. They are known for carrying, also known as parrot disease. Raccoons push otters out of their homes and also can carry rabies and other diseases. The government of Madrid has captured 300 of them in the last four years.

Citizens without a regular hunting license will not be allowed to take part in the hunt. Chemical pest control systems may not be used and use of firearms will be required prior to authorisation. 

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