Civil Guard arrest 26 hunters, veterinarians in Andalusia crackdown on mutilation of hunting dogs

Hunting dog with ear amputated for 'good luck' and without anesthetic. Photo: El País
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• Practice part of ancestral ritual believed to bring hunters ‘good luck’ •

A special unit of Spain’s Civil Guard police force has arrested 26 hunters and six veterinarians in Andalusia on charges related to the illegal ritual amputation with no anesthetic of the ears and tails of dogs used in hunting, part of ancestral rural practices that hunters in many parts of Spain believe bring “good luck” in the next hunting season.

The arrests occurred in the province of Huelva by the Guardia Civil’s SEPRONA unit over alleged illegal docking of the animals tails and ears by hunters in the field using their own hunting knives or scissors; the veterinarians were arrested for allegedly falsifying documentation regarding the injuries to the animals.

The practice remains legal in some parts of Spain and is especially prevalent at the end of the hunting season in February, when greyhounds and dogs of other breeds used in hunting wild hares are often mutilated and left to die as part of the annual superstition among hunters related to good luck in the coming year’s hunt.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at El País …

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► Read Background Story in Spanish at 20 minutos …

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