Animal Welfare Association is investigated for illegally exporting 482 dogs to the UK
The Fiscal and Border Analysis and Investigation Unit (UDAIFF) of the Guardia Civil, and the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) are investigating the female president of an Animal Welfare Association, for the continued crime of document forgery by allegedly falsifying export certificates and presenting them to the UK authorities for the ‘illegal’ exportation of 482 dogs from Gran Canaria to the United Kingdom for adoption, between January 2021 and October 2022.
The investigation began after the Guardia Civil was made aware of the situation following a denuncia (official complaint) filed on 4th November 2022 by the regional coordinator of the Animal Health Service of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department of the Canary Islands Government.
In it, he reported that his counterpart in the UK had transferred information to him that he was investigating the entry of dogs from Gran Canaria into the United Kingdom, due to the “dubious” authenticity of the certificates presented by the association, which didn’t look genuine.
Based on this data, investigators were able to clarify that the association in question had exported 482 dogs to the United Kingdom with false paperwork, between January 2021 and October 2022, charging 542 euros a time for the costs of caring for the animals and transportation.
At this point, a joint inspection was also carried out with the Veterinary Technician of the General Directorate of Livestock, at the facilities of the association in Agüimes, where they discovered 141 dogs, 3 pigs, 8 goats, 7 horses, 5 sheep, and 30 chickens. They also found that the association lacked any records of animals’ entry and exit from the facilities, no records of collection of animal corpses by an authorized management company, and no registration of their animals in the Registry of Livestock Farms of the Canary Islands (REGAC).
In addition, agents located four corpses of dogs with microchips half buried in the land attached to the association's facilities and found that some of the dog passports that did exist had fake vaccination stamps and labels in them which had been cut out of another passport and glued into these.
One of the four half-buried dogs found on their land.
Given this, the female president of the association being investigated, claimed that most of the dogs came from the Bañaderos Shelter and from the CETAs of the municipalities of Ingenio, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, and Agüimes.
The commercial movement of live animals is subject to compliance with Animal Health regulations which are established to avoid the spread of potentially communicable diseases to humans and other animals. In addition, they can only come from establishments that are authorized for this purpose, which is not the case with this association as it is not registered in the Registry of Livestock Farms of the Canary Islands.
In total, it is estimated that the woman being investigated earned approximately 265,000 euros from the illegal transportation of these dogs to the UK, so proceedings have been handed over to the duty court in Telde (Gran Canaria), where the investigation will continue.
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