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Home / Investigation reveals cruelties in Spanish hunting with dogs

Investigation reveals cruelties in Spanish hunting with dogs


CAS International and AnimaNaturalis are bringing out cruelties of hunting with dogs in Spain. It specifically involves the so-called “monterías”, in which groups of dogs hunt, attack and kill large animals such as boar and deer. This activity is banned in most European countries.

Spaanse jacht

Investigation reveals atrocities in Spanish hunting with dogs | Picture: AnimaNaturalis / CAS International / Aitor Garmendia

We conducted research during 11 monterías in Spain between 2021 and 2023. The images of the investigation show badly injured dogs, stabbings, animals in agony, hunters suturing their dogs’ wounds without veterinary supervision, and even the use of illegal medication.

This is a form of hunting very characteristic of the Iberian Peninsula. This involves using packs of up to 40 dogs to track and chase boars, deer and other animals toward hunters. It is an extremely cruel form of hunting, where prey animals are torn apart by dogs. Some 582,290 boars and deer were hunted in 2020, mostly on fenced areas.


Because of the extreme animal suffering of the prey animals and the high risk for hunting dogs to be injured, the practice is banned in most European countries except Spain, Portugal and France. In 2021, the European Parliament expressed concern about the lack of protection for hunting dogs in Spain. Instead of intervening, the montería was declared a cultural heritage in the Spanish state of Extremadura (2022) – previously it received the same status in Andalusia (2020). Maite van Gerwen, director of CAS:

“The practices we recorded involve immense animal suffering and the images pierce the heart. It is unfathomable that these barbaric practices are still allowed to take place in a civilized country like Spain and that this is happening in Europe. Although legislation is becoming stricter and stricter for all kinds of domestic animals, the hunting dogs and wild animals that are hunted lose out time and again. They are ignored by lawmakers and policy makers time after time just because a certain group of people wants to kill animals for fun.”

Animal Welfare Law

Since March, Spain has had its first national animal welfare law. However, the law does not protect hunting dogs. The laws of the autonomous regions also do not provide sufficient protection. In addition, the socialist ruling party PSOE announced last week that making national legislation for hunting dogs is not a priority, even though the party promised to work on this as recently as September (images below contain shocking footage).


There is no official registration of hunting dogs in Spain, so the number of hunting dogs bred and used is unknown. According to research by Fundación Affinity, hunting is the second main reason for dog abandonment in Spain. 85% of Spain’s territory is used for hunting.


The purpose of the research is to expose animal suffering during hunting practices. This involves structural abuses. For example, prey animals are torn alive. Sometimes they are left in agony by hunters. In addition, dogs are exposed to great danger when hunting large animals such as boars. In an attempt to defend themselves, boars cause serious injuries to dogs. In most cases, the dogs do not wear any protection. The hunters themselves treat the wounds without veterinary supervision, such as sealing a wound with a stapler or injecting (illegal) medication. During the investigation, we found dogs with deep cuts in the neck, perforations on the sides, or a diaphragm hanging outward.

Picture: AnimaNaturalis / CAS International / Aitor Garmendia

During the investigation, three dogs died during hunting due to dehydration. Things were also out of order in the shelters and breeding facilities: drinking water was often dirty, food or water was regularly missing, hygienic conditions in the kennels were poor, causing dogs to live in their own feces, and they were often not protected from extreme heat, cold and rain.

CAS and AnimaNaturalis will use the results of the investigation to inform people and exert political pressure. To do this, we want to collect as many signatures as possible. Therefore, sign our petition against hunting with dogs!

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