More than 500 wild animals were slaughtered by a group of Spanish hunters, prompting furious authorities to call it an “environmental crime.”
The mass hunt took place last week in a walled-in farm in Torrebela, a tourist hunting zone about 24 miles from Lisbon, the BBC reported.
“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, the network said.
In all, 540 deer and wild boar were brought down during the Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 mass hunt.
Images from the aftermath of the slaughter posted on Twitter by Portuguese journalist Alberto Mancebo shows the dead animals laid out in rows on a field at the hunting farm.
One image shows eight men posting among dead bucks, one of them giving a thumbs-up sign — with antlers from the dead animals visible in front of him.
The slaughter prompted Portugal’s Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests to announce it would suspend the hunting permit for the Torrebela hunting zone and will submit a report to prosecutors, Portugal News Online reported.
“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,” Environmental Minister Joao Matos Fernandez said in a statement.