Raccoons and parakeets in for a bad time in Madrid

The Madrid regional government of Madrid has approved the capture and killing of any specimen of raccoon, monk parakeet and rose-ringed parakeet, as it considers these to be a threat to endemic flora and fauna.

Sold as pets until December 2011, these species are now on the government’s ‘most wanted’ list. The government is looking to take action before they become a fully fledged plague.

The parakeets are aggressive towards pigeons and sparrows, often forcing them to migrate and they are also carriers of ornithosis, known commonly as parrot disease. The raccoons apparently force otters out of their homes and are considered potential carriers of rabies and other diseases. The government of Madrid has captured around 300 racoons in the last four years.

The decision to let these animals be hunted down has been published in the regional gazette, with the rules being established for this practice during the 2013-2014 season. It is not a general free for all, however. Fortunately. Anyone without a regular hunting license will not be allowed to take part in the hunt and chemical pest control systems are prohibited. The use of firearms on any hunt will require prior authorisation.

The first confirmed case of rabies in Spain since 1978 occurred in the city of Toledo on June 5th 2013 and involved a dog imported from Morocco.

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