The Centro Canino home for unwanted and abandoned pets in Palma, run by British resident Barbara Mayhew and her team of dedicated volunteers, was yesterday approached by the animal protection group ADDA in Barcelona to help launch a national campaign to increase people's awareness of the alleged slaughter of dogs at a municipal dog pound in the Catalan capital. The slaughter of some 20 dogs, the harrowing pictures of which were broadcast on Spanish television last night, was revealed by ADDA and the company concerned could be forced to pay a 2.5 million peseta fine. Yesterday Barbara Mayhew said that she had been contacted by ADDA and asked to help launch a nationwide campaign to alert people to the illegal and cruel practice and to help prevent other dog pounds from putting their dogs down in a similar fashion. Secret video footage at the dog pound in question reveals that the slaughtered dogs were gassed, apparently without any form of sedatives being administered, before being caged and bundled into the chamber. Under the Animal Protection Law, although no particular methods are specified, it states that when an animal is put down, every step must be taken to ensure that the animal endures the very minimum amount of suffering, that the loss of consciousness is immediate and that a veterinarian is present and presiding over the process.

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