RESIDENTS WANT TOUGH ACTION ON HUNTERS

A delegation from Alozaina village met Junta de Andalucia officials last Friday to demand changes in the gun law arrangements around their village during the annual three-month shooting season that began on Sunday, October 12th. A local resident reported that Junta workers have been putting up “hunting land” notices on all the roads around the village without consulting local homeowners and without any consideration for the safety of local people and their domestic animals. Last year, weekend hunters and their dogs indiscriminately killed cats and protected birds such as eagles in a succession of blazing shooting sprees. Shotgun damage to an electricity pylon resulted in a major power blackout and one homeowner standing outside his house was hit by shotgun pellets. Since last years successive “invasions” killed off all the local cats, rats have been free to proliferate and have now become a serious problem. Local residents want the Junta to enforce national laws that are supposed to regulate shooting and protect homes and special agricultural areas such as their commercial olive and orange groves. But they suspect the Junta has been ignoring the controls because it has been making a lot of money from selling hunting licences. It is estimated that in 2006, the Junta may have made nearly €500,000 from licence sales. The Alzoaina delegation included representatives of Spanish families who have owned local land for generations as well as expat owners including Dutchmen, British and Danes. Between them they own about 100 acres, most of which is supposed to be out of bounds to hunters, but the latter claim that the Junta notices free them of any restrictions.

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