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Canary Islands warning over new £1,300 Tenerife fines – ‘this is serious’ | World | News

Tourists have been warned over bizarre new Tenerife fines which could cost them just under £1,300.

Tenerife has banned holidaymakers and folk living in the city from feeding animals in the streets, with the offence punishable with fines of up to €1,500.

It comes after the first fine for the new rules was given out, with a couple living in Tenerife hit with a €1,000 (£856) bill for feeding pigeons by the Environmental Sustainability and Public Services department of the Santa Cruz Council.

When introducing the new law, the mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, said: “Providing food, of any kind, to any animal found in public places is a serious offence and a lack of respect for other citizens.

“Therefore, these residents must be penalised to prevent it from happening again, as these acts pose serious public health problems and deteriorate our heritage.”

His comments were echoed by the council’s environment officer Carlos Tarife, who said the fines were not a one-off.

He said: “We will continue to penalise anyone who feeds pigeons in Santa Cruz, a practice that not only leads to uncontrolled growth in the number of these specimens but can also transmit diseases such as histoplasmosis, salmonellosis, and cryptococcosis.

“As well as carrying bedbugs and ticks, through their excrement and nesting they cause serious damage to architectural and urban furniture, with the consequent economic impact on public funds.

“The council is making a great effort to control the high number of pigeons in the city, and we cannot allow others to feed them, leaving food residues in public areas and attracting rat or cockroach infestations.”

Santa Cruz Council captures between 700 and 1,000 pigeons every month in traps and nets, and last week it tested the use of a specially trained hawk in strategic areas, such as Plaza de España and Parque García Sanabria.

The idea is that the hawk will prevent the pigeons from reproducing as studies show they are nervous when a bird of prey is around.

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