Tough to swallow: Man fined €200,000 for destroying birds nests in Spain’s Menorca

A MAN from Menorca looks set to be fined €200,000 for destroying five swallow nests located in a building in Alaior, Menorca.

The man was tracked down by officers from the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil.

A neighbour had complained that the man had removed the nests from underneath her balcony on Carrer des Melinas.  

Swallows often build nests on buildings and are a protected species under Spanish and EU law.

Swallow Nest Snip
Swallows are a protected species in much of Europe. Photo: Flickr

Spanish law explicitly prohibits harmings protected wildlife and the law states: ‘It is forbidden to intentionally kill, harm, annoy, or disturb wild animals, whatever the method used.’

It is currently breeding season for swallows, who give birth ahead of mass migration to Africa in the autumn. 

Swallows play a particularly important role in the Spanish ecosystem as they eat insects which would otherwise cause damage to crops.

It is not clear if the man, who has not been named, is able to appeal the decision which would represent one of the largest fines related to animal mistreatment in Spain’s history.

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