450 deer and boar slaughtered in fenced enclosure by paying 'customers'

Nearly 450 deer and wild boar have been slaughtered in a single day's hunt in Spain as environmentalists slam the 'orgy of blood and death'.

The mass killing took place on a commercial hunt on the Los Posteruelos private estate in Villaviciosa de Córdoba, near the Andalusian hills.

The 447 animals were penned in by fences so they could not escape the gunfire from the 70 hunters taking part.

Participants were each charged €1,000 for the shoot, which is legal under Spanish law.

But animal rights groups say the use of fencing is unethical and have condemned the hunt after images of the animals' carcasses were shared online.  

Each hunter killed around six or seven animals, a figure much higher than on an average day's hunt, they say. 

Manuel Gallardo, president of the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation, told El Mundo that large-scale hunting is 'necessary due to the overabundance of species'.

But Joaquín Reina from Ecologists in Action blasted the shoot as an 'orgy of blood and death'. 

He said: 'This is the daily life of most of the fenced estates in Sierra Morena, but also throughout Andalusia, with some 500,000 hectares fenced, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and the Levante region.'

He said the massacre would be impossible on an open estate, saying: 'The only defence is escape and this is absolutely diminished by a wire barrier.' 

But Gallardo argued that the animals needed to be killed to 'maintain the balance in the environment'.

He added that the ritualistic display of the animals' bodies on the floor was also necessary for health regulations.

He said hunting is essential not only for conservation but also for the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the region, saying it generates €6.5billion a year. 

The Association of Law Professionals United for Animal Defense and the Environment of Córdoba has now demanded more information on the hunt to prove its legality.