The Guardia Civil has investigated the owner of a horse farm in the Murcian hamlet of Monteagudo for having 35 live horses but in “deplorable” conditions living with the corpses of 13 other decomposing equines, according to sources from the Benemérita in a statement.
Specifically, the Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, thanks to the collaboration of citizens, has developed this investigation called operation ‘Bucéfalo’, aimed at clarifying the living conditions of numerous horses on a farm located in Monteagudo that has resulted in the investigation of its owner as the alleged perpetrator of animal abuse.
The farm was home to 35 horses, donkeys and ponies in “terrible conditions”, along with the remains of 13 other equines, according to sources from the Benemérita in a statement.
The investigation began when a resident of Alicante reported to the Guardia Civil the deplorable hygienic-sanitary conditions of a horse farm, located in the Murcian district of Monteagudo, where, apparently, live animals coexisted with the remains of other dead animals.
Specialists from the Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service, in collaboration with veterinarians from the Murcia Regional Livestock Office, carried out an inspection visit.
On the premises of the farm, the agents found a total of 35 equines, including horses, donkeys and ponies, living together with the remains of 13 other equines in an advanced state of decomposition, with the consequent risk to the health of the live animals, as well as to human health, as the premises were located in an urban area with nearby houses.
The investigation continued with the reading of the individual microchips and their comparison with the corresponding passports, which made it possible to find out that the farm had a total of 71 equines registered, of which 19 were unaccounted for, the owner not being able to provide any documentation to prove their death, sale or transfer to another farm.
The result of the investigation revealed evident negligence in the attention and care of the animals, as they lacked adequate hygienic and sanitary conditions and food, basing their sustenance on lettuce scraps, which could have caused malnutrition and serious intestinal problems.
In addition, the agents found out that the disposal of the carcasses was not being managed either, so veterinarians from the OCA of Murcia drew up the corresponding reports and ordered the owner to immediately proceed with the removal of the dead animals through an authorised management company.
SEPRONA has culminated the operation ‘Bucéfalo’ with the investigation of the owner of the equine farm, as the alleged perpetrator of the crime of animal abuse, having failed to prove the corresponding veterinary care to ensure the survival of the equines, endangering the health of the rest of the live animals.
The Guardia Civil recalls that the current Penal Code, in article 337, states that the offender will be punished with a prison sentence of three months and one day to one year and special disqualification of one year and one day to three years for the exercise of a profession, trade or commerce related to animals and for the possession of animals, whoever, by any means or procedure, unjustifiably mistreats, causing injuries that seriously undermine its health or subjecting it to sexual exploitation, a domestic or tame animal, an animal that is habitually domesticated, an animal that temporarily or permanently lives under human control, or any animal that does not live in the wild.
In addition, Law 8/2003, of 24 April, on Animal Health, includes a series of infractions regarding negligence due to the absence of veterinary care, updating of the census, communication of the death of the animals to the corresponding authorities, as well as the elimination of the remains by authorised managers, with financial penalties ranging from 60,001 euros to 1,200,000 euros.