Toad-seller sentenced

The Third Section of the Provincial Court of Alicante has sentenced a man to a fine of 1,080 euro for a crime related to the protection of fauna, for which he appreciates the mitigation of undue delays, after he was found guilty of selling ‘bufo calamita’, or natterjack toads, on the internet.

The Chamber thus confirms the sentence handed down by Criminal Court number 3 of Alicante on May 27 of this year, which in addition to imposing a fine, disqualifies the offender from exercising any profession and trade related to breeding or trade of wild animals and for hunting and fishing for one year and eight months.

The events occurred in 2017, when the Autonomous Police detected that an individual was offering specimens of toads of the ‘bufo calamita’ species, also called natterjack toads, on an advertisement website, at a price of 15 euro each.

On May 12 of that year, the agents raided the seller’s home, in Alicante, and seized 23 of these amphibians that he had in his possession with the intention of profiting from their sale.

As detailed in the resolution of the Criminal Court, now confirmed by the Provincial Court, the convicted person knew that the type of animal with which he was trading was included in the list of wild species under special protection regime and in the Spanish catalogue of threatened species.

In its resolution, the Court considers the arguments of the sentence handed down in the first instance to be correct and describes as “generic” the allegations of the appellant in his appeal against the sentence.

The Chamber recalls that the now condemned man presented himself in the advertisements on the website as an expert knowledgeable about the characteristics and care of this amphibian and even offered advice.