THREE MEN aged between 20 and 28 have been reported by Malaga Policia Local for committing animal abuse after being caught burning live hedgehogs with a blowtorch.
Police officers spotted several parked vans in a Malaga street on Tuesday, and next to them were the men using the torch.
The trio were approached over possibly starting a bonfire but instead were caught red-handed burning live hedgehogs- two of which were dead, while four others were still alive but were destined for the same fate.
After being questioned, the men indicated that they had hunted the animals locally and were burning them so that they could be eaten.
The four hedgehogs were taken to Andalucia’s Endangered Species Recovery Centre (CREA) as they are specially protected on the list of threatened species.
CREA vets inspected them and confirmed the animals healthy ahead of being subsequently released in the Montes de Malaga Natural Park.
The police have filed separate reports against those involved for two breaches of the law.
One concerns the Law of Wild Flora and Fauna, where it is prohibited to kill and capture live wild animals, and the second for violating the Law of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity where action against protected species is prohibited.