The LIFE PLUTO Anti-poison Dog Units overtake 700 inspections

More than 700 inspections have been carried out by the Anti-poison Dog Units in the framework of LIFE PLUTO project since the beginning of their activity in July 2016, and up to the end of 2018. With 90 positive inspections, they continue to reduce the poison impact on the fauna, that appears to be frequent and extended.

In total, the Anti-poison Dog Units managed by CUFA (the Carabinieri State Forestry Corps) have carried out 729 inspections involving 9 regions, 19 Italian provinces and a considerable variety of environments: urban and peri-urban areas, rural areas, woods, truffle areas, wildlife hunting companies, etc. 502 inspections were preventive whereas 227 were urgent, following the reporting of suspected poisoning cases.
Elements potentially related to poison use or other violations against wildlife have emerged in 90 inspections, and baits (poisoned or structured to cause fatal damage if ingested), animal carcasses, laces for poaching on mammals and other elements have been found.
Considering that, for various reasons, it is not always possible to obtain a confirmation of the poison presence by necropsy and/or laboratory analysis, positive poison inspections are estimated at 44 at least and have led to the identification and the following removal of 63 baits and 29 animal carcasses.

Carried out inspections Positive inspections No. baits found No. carcasses found
729 90 63 29

Among the carcasses found, the highest number concerns dogs, cats and foxes but also wolves, hedgehogs, martens, red kites, common magpies and other species. Dogs and cats are prevalent because of a higher poisoning likelihood and a higher reporting of poisoning episodes when compared to other wild animals.
As for the fox, it is worth highlighting how, in Italy, it represents the main wild species acting as a “spy” of the poison presence: this is due to the fact that it is often the target, very vulnerable to the threat and widespread in many different environments, including those frequented by people who could therefore identify and report findings.
It is important to underline that poisoning episodes against dogs and cats often occur in rural, peri-urban and wooden areas, representing a threat even to wild species. Actually, these could die from poisoned baits or feed on dogs and cats that have previously died from poisoning.
For 32 positive inspections, toxic substances, used to package the poisoned baits that have been found in the animal carcasses, are known. These consist of 12 different substances used singularly and 5 toxic cocktails.

  • Immagine 1
  • Boccone avvelenato
  • Immagine 2
  • Carcassa di volpe
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