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Hunters accused of animal cruelty in 'gated hunt'

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An image from Martin Balluch's video.
11:25 CET+01:00
An Austrian animal rights group has reported hunt organisers to police for using a fence to trap animals, which causes them to smash against it in terror before being shot.

The practice, known as a Gatterjagd (gated hunt) involves hunters moving through the forest with dogs and shooting at game, including deer and wild boar, which run ahead of them.

Eventually they come to a fence, which stops them running any further, and they need to return back to the hunters in order to escape. In the process they run the gauntlet of the dogs and hunters.

Austrian animal-rights activist Martin Balluch was able to video the moment a panicked deer threw itself repeatedly against a fence, receiving a bloody head wound as it tried to escape from the baying dogs which can be heard in the background.

Balluch, who is the leader of the animal-rights group VGT, said: "It was clear to see that the deer was terrified for its life."

He has filed a complaint with prosecutors in Korneuburg, which is north of the capital Vienna, accusing them of animal cruelty for the 'Gatterjagd' that had been organised in nearby Ernstbrunn.

Prosecution spokesman Friedrich Köhl said that when the complaint had been received, they would be looking to see if the hunt had followed local hunting guidelines.

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The VGT has been conducting a long-term campaign to ban the Gatterjagd in Austria and has been posting videos online to show the suffering of the animals.

Story courtesy of Central European News

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