540 wild animals shot – a super record, the hunters said
Just before Christmas, on December 17, over 540 deer and wild boar were brutally slaughtered by 16 Spanish hunters in a walled estate in Azambuja to make way for a gigantic solar energy park with an investment of 170 million euros.
‘It was a massacre’ declared Silvino Lúcio, vice-president of the Azambuja town council. ‘This can’t be called a hunt. Those animals had no way of escape as they were confined within the property walls.’
The hunt was organized at the Quinta (walled estate) Torre Bela by the Spanish organisation Hunting Spain Portugal Monteros de la Cabra, that yearly organises hunts in Spain and Portugal.
A shocked minister of environment Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes immediately withdraw Torre Bela’s hunting licence, stating that the organizers, the owners and possibly the hunters who took part, will most probably be prosecuted by the Public Ministry.’
In a joint statement, various environmental organizations called on the minister not only to implement his decision to review the hunting law but to also solve the inexistence of proper inspection to prevent crimes against nature.
An outraged political party PAN – Party for Animals and Nature – wondered in despair, how it was possible that no official public entity had received any forewarning about the indiscriminate hunt in the ancient estate.
It is unclear whether the bloody incident will affect the installation of 650.000 solar panels at the estate, an area described by the local paper Valor Local in September as ‘forest and agricultural land equivalent to 775 football pitches.’
Pending the investigation by the Public Ministry, the government has instructed APA – the Portuguese environment agency – to immediately suspend its evaluation of the environmental impact study for the solar project and start a thorough investigation into the facts.
Some days after the culling hit the headlines, the owners of the estate issued a statement – through their spokesmen – that they had absolutely nothing to do with the hunt and had heard about the barbarity only through the media.
Journalists’ attempts to discover the identity of the owners have raised questions. There are rumours that the real owner is Isabel dos Santos – the former first daughter of Angola – now immersed in the Luanda Leaks scandal. In fact, nobody seems to know for sure. The only thing clear is that whoever owns Torre Bela prefers to stay anonymous.
Stay healthy Fique saudável (pic Públic/EsqNet)