PORTUGUESE authorities are up in arms after a group of Spanish hunters slaughtered 540 deer and boar in two days of carnage.
The mass hunt took place at a walled farm in Torrebela (Portugal) about 20 miles from Lisbon last week. The bloody ‘hunt’ has been dubbed an ‘environmental crime’ by Potuguese officials.
A spokesman said: “The animals were fenced in. They had nowhere to run. This was a massacre, not a hunt.”
“The reports and news about the indiscriminate slaughter of animals … have nothing to do with hunting, understood as a practice that can contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem,” Portugal’s Environment Ministry said in a statement.
Now Portugal’s Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests has declared it will suspend the hunting permit for the Torrebela hunting zone and will submit a report to prosecutors.
“There is strong evidence of a crime against the preservation of fauna,” the organisation said.
Portugal’s Environmental Minister Joao Matos said: “It is the ministry’s understanding that changes to the law are needed to prevent the terrible events that have been reported from being repeated.” He also called the incident a ‘vile and hateful act.’
The finger of blame has been pointed at a group of Spaniards who paid up to €8,000 each to take part in the ‘hunt’.
One of them posted photos of himself and 15 other hunters posing next to the pile of dead animals.
Other tweets showed a couple standing amongst the corpses, smiling for the camera. In a third picture a group of men – it is unknown if they are the hunters – are seen standing amongst what appear to be live deer tethered to the ground.