Spanish law enforcement officers strengthen their expertise to tackle wildlife poisonings

Illegal poison-baits are the most widely used method for killing predators on a global scale, a massive method of eliminating animals considered harmful to livestock or game species. It is a serious threat to biodiversity in many European countries, as shown by data from Spain where thousands of wild animals -including threatened species- are still killed this way every year. 

Nevertheless, Spain is considered an international reference in the knowledge and the tackling of this crime. One of the keys to end the use of poison is the training of law enforcement officers responsible for the protection of nature. The identification of poisoned wildlife in the field or the successful investigation of cases often depends on the knowledge of the agents involved. 

For this reason, the LIFE SWiPE team in Spain participated this month in the 2nd edition of the Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Crimes, a training session for agents of SEPRONA (Nature Protection Service), the environmental division of the Civil Guard, a law enforcement agency. 

The workshop was organized by SEPRONA and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity Unit), and among other experts, our colleague Carlos Cano from WWF España spoke about the contribution of NGOs to the fight against poison.

For example, Spanish criminal law allows NGOs to act as private prosecutors in crimes against protected species, and both WWF and other allied organizations have been involved in the prosecution of several poisoning cases. The participating agents showed great interest during the conference, and we at LIFE SWiPE are proud to be able to collaborate and learn together with these guardians of nature.