Killer dogs on the loose

The seemingly intractable issue of feral dogs in southern Spain has left farmers in Canillas de Albaida demanding the authorities take action following a series of ‘at least 10’ attacks which have left more than 50 goats and sheep dead.

Organised packs of the perilous pooches are roaming the Sierra Tejeda-Alimjara Natural Park leading to considerable economic damage to the steamed up shepherds.

Municipal mayor, Jorge Martin, confirmed the raids on Tuesday, November 29, and admitted that his council team has alerted the Environment and Agriculture ministries of the Junta de Andalucia, plus SEPRONA, the nature protection arm of the Guardia Civil.

Martin is urging all three organisations to get together and take measures to capture the murderous hounds before they cause any further harm, citing the dogs’ apparent bloodlust as a particular reason for concern.

He also said it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between the feral packs and domestic pets which have been allowed to run free.

“These attacks are not so the dogs can eat, but to kill,” he said. “Most of the dead goats and sheep have neck wounds caused by accurate bites, which makes us think that they are not hungry wild dogs, but well-fed domestic animals of potentially dangerous breeds which may have owners but they are allowed to run free.”

The mayor also voiced his fears that if packs of dangerous dogs are running wild in the mountains, then they may also represent a serious danger for walkers in the natural park.

“There have been occasional attacks before, but this time we are suffering at least one per week,” he added.

In October, 30 sheep with a value of around €3,000 were attacked and killed by a pack of dogs, most of which were podencos (Andalucian hounds), in the Sierra de las Nieves town of Yunquera, although on that occasion rural guards and hunters managed to track down and capture them.


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