In Portugal, 540 deer, roe deer and wild boar were slaughtered by 16 hunters from Spain in the Torrebela hunting area near Azambuja, about 40 km from the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
According to Portuguese and European media reports, a massacre took place on December 17 and 18 in the Torrebela hunting area near Azambuja, about 40 km from the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
The hunting area belongs to the Quinta da Torre Bela in Azambuja. The hunt would have taken place without the knowledge of the local authorities, killing most of the deer population.
The wild animals were in the fenced, walled area and had no chance to escape.
The pictures of the slaughter of the wild animals in Portugal spread in the soialem media and shocked the Portuguese and European population.
Portuguese Environment Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes called the brutal killing of these wild animals “cowardly” and an “environmental crime” that should be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, more details about the hunters and the farm where the massacre took place have been revealed through the Portuguese and European press.
According to Sapo Portugal, the slaughter of the 540 animals was organized by a Spanish couple who allegedly received between seven and eight thousand euros from each hunter for participating in the massacre. The Portuguese owner of the Quinta, who allowed this slaughter, had purely economic interests at stake.
According to TVI24, a Spanish company based in Badajoz, Spain, would have organized the slaughter on the property in Ribatejo and was founded 25 years ago by Mariano Morales and Virginia Rodriguez, the current owners of the company, who had a passion for hunting.
The couple that poses in front of the camera and the 540 slaughtered wild animals.
Mariano Morales, he said, was a lawyer and responsible for the overall management of the hunt. Virginia Rodriguez, agricultural engineer, would “take care of all the management and dealings with clients, hotel selection, reception at the airport, documentation, so that the hunters feel at home.”
The company Monteros de la Cabra, operates in Spain and Portugal and is a company that organizes hunting events where team spirit is a priority, said Sapo Portugal.
According to “Jornal de Notícias,” anyone who wants to participate in a hunt like the one in Azambuja, in which hundreds of animals died and 16 hunters were involved, would have to pay between seven and eight thousand euros.
Environment Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes, described the killing of the 540 wild animals, such as fallow deer, roe deer and wild boar, as a “heinous act” that he classified as an environmental crime, ordered the immediate revocation of the tourist hunting license for Quinta da Torre Bela in the municipality of Azambuja and announced that he will initiate a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for a crime against the conservation of fauna.
The Minister of Environment pointed out that even an authorized hunt should not be a large-scale killing. The ICNF [Institute for Conservation and Forests] would currently collect evidence of what can be considered a crime.
On Tuesday December 22, 2020, military personnel from the GNR and technicians from the ICNF were on the property to determine who could be held responsible, he said. According to the data collected so far, it is suspected that the Spaniards broke the contract they had signed with the Portuguese owner.
The executive would have also instructed the ICNF to continue inspecting some 1500 hunting properties in Portugal to avoid the repetition of similar incidents.
After the massacre became public, local authorities and the Azambuja City Council announced that they had no prior knowledge of the Spanish company’s intention to slaughter the wild animals. According to the law, the hunt does not have to be reported to the ICNF. According to Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Climate Protection, this is a mistake that needs to be corrected and requires a change in the law.
The killing of wildlife at Quinta da Torre Bela was condemned by the Portuguese Hunting Federation (Fencaça), which called what happened there “barbarism.” “From an ethical point of view, this is not hunting,” said Jacinto Amaro, president of Fencaça, in an interview with TVI24.
The hunt would have taken place for the economic interests of the farm owner, who not only wanted to get rid of the excess animals, but also profited from the value of the meat after allegedly receiving three thousand euros from each of the 16 hunters, who would have taken most of the killed animals back to their country.
The farm owner kept about a thousand wild animals such as deer, deer and wild boar. After the farm had to be reduced by 200 hectares for the installation of a photovoltaic panel park, there would have been no more room for so many wild animals and the farm owner decided to kill the animals.
The park in question would be a project to place more than 638 photovoltaic panels on a site where more than 500 animals were slaughtered.
The Portuguese party PAN for the Animals and Nature said that the installation of the plant could have been a possible cause of the cull. However, the environmental impact study (EIA) of photovoltaic panels would remain in the public consultation phase until January 20, 2021.
According to Jornal de Notícias, this thesis would also be held by the conservative liberal PSD, which called for a full investigation of those responsible, the elected Socialists in the Chamber of Azambuja, the owner of Quinta da Torre Bela, as well as the promoters of the photovoltaic park.
The Socialists blame the “Institute for the Protection of Nature and Forests (ICNF) and the Portuguese Environmental Association (APA)”, accusing them of having done nothing -to protect the municipal territory.
The area of the farm where the massacre took place is 1,100 hectares, completely fenced and walled, so that the wild animals had no chance to flee and escape.