Spanish electricity company guilty of electrocuting hundreds of birds?

by Lorraine Williamson
hundreds of birds died

BARCELONA – An indictment has been filed against Endesa, one of Spain’s largest electricity companies. The company is said to have broken the law multiple times by not doing anything about their electricity pylons and cables that cause of hundreds of birds to be electrocuted. 

The Public Prosecution Service for the Environment in Vic (Barcelona) is the one who filed the charges against Endesa and six board members. Endesa is said to be guilty of crimes against the environment and inadequately protecting local wildlife. Furthermore, due to the non-compliance of Endesa´s high voltage cables in the province of Barcelona, the company has created a so-called “death trap” for the bird population. These high voltage pylons and cables are said to be the cause of the electrocution of hundreds of birds.

Endesa ignored Catalonia’s agents’ earlier reprimands 

The Spanish news site RTVE writes about the content of the charge. It stated Endesa previously received a warning from Catalan agents who felt they should repair some masts and overhead cables. However, following this warning, Endesa did not take any action to remedy it.

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“Endesa is aware of the situation and they know their pylons and overhead cables do not comply with state laws. Endesa has managed to maintain the situation and not take any action to improve it”, reads a passage from environmental prosecutor Pelegrín.

Hundreds of birds electrocuted by Endesa 

Between 2018-2020, in the Osona region of Barcelona, 255 cases have been documented of birds electrocuted by Endesa´s power lines . One of the biggest incidents took place in August 2018 when some 700 storks stopped in this area. 72 of them were electrocuted and killed by power lines.

Response from Endesa about filed charges 

The Spanish news agency Efe has asked Endesa for a response. But the company says it has not yet officially been informed about the charges. However, Endesa has been announcing it is keen to invest in improving high-voltage power lines to protect the bird population. In 2021, the company will invest €4.6million to improve masts to protect the bird species in this area. Also in the past three years, Endesa is said to have modified more than 2,000 masts as they posed a risk to birds.

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