A publication of the Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals (Fapas) uncovered a group of farmers who falsified the damage of the wolf in western Asturias.
The news collected by the entity on its website prompted an investigation by the Seprona de Vegadeo, attached to the Oviedo Command.
The operation took place under the orders of the Castropol Court of First Instance and Instruction, it took place for almost two years and culminated in the arrest of six Asturian farmers, accused of collecting more than 60,000 euros of public funds from the Asturian administration.
Likewise, it was shown that they had killed six wolves that were part of a pack shared between Asturias and Galicia.
In November 2020, a veterinarian from Asturias denounced in the Castropol court irregular practices of farmers who reported alleged attacks suffered by horses and whose cause, they pointed out, was the wolf.
However, the investigation showed that they were false and that the complainants had a very specific modus operandi: they separated the foals from their mothers and then abandoned them in the mountains, getting the canids to attack them and thus collect a subsidy that could reach 900 euros for each one.
This means a profit of between 600 and 700 per animal, since the price of it is between 150 and 300 euros.
From Fapas they assure that some of the animals left in the forest were bought in Galicia, as they are the cheapest specimens.
The Asturian veterinarian also denounced that the farmers fed the wolves so that they could approach the herds. This prompted the court to open an investigation by Seprona.
The proceeding of the defendants in the framework of this operation, baptized as White Fang, was to attract wolves to the area where the foals were located by means of feedlot.
In total, more than 170 horses were killed and linked to the cause between 2019 and 2020. In some cases, farmers falsified the documentation to collect a double subsidy, feigning the death of the same animal twice in six months.