Garda bust poacher gang after they boast about 'twisted' hunt on Facebook
Shocking footage has emerged of an Irish poacher gang using lurcher hounds to drag helpless deer to the ground before brutally killing them with hammers.
Several arrests have already been made in connection with the video as part of a wider ongoing Garda investigation into deer poaching, code-named ‘Operation Bambi’.
However, Garda sources confirmed that a number of other individuals would be “detained for questioning” in the coming days.
Raiding homes in Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford this week, Gardai seized €20,000 of suspected cocaine and amphetamines, two deer carcasses, hunting knives, high powered lamps and a suspected stolen jeep.
This group, in particular, were known to hunt deer across a number of counties, including Tipperary, Waterford, Kerry, Clare and Cork, and were thought to have trespassed across dozens of properties while chasing the animals with their dogs.
Posing with their kills, the men boasted of their 'hunting prowess' to the delight of a number of social media users.
In one message, a fan writes: “That’s a good going lads. Excellent stuff lads – that’s a great night.”
While another says: “Ah Boys they be extinct by time ya stop haha. That sum goin unreal.”
Using the cross-bred lurchers hounds to bring down the deer, the men are seen using screwdrivers and hammers to finish off the defenceless animals.
“It’s like they’re getting off on the violence,” said a spokesperson for the Wild Deer Association.
“It’s sick on every level. There are 4,500 real hunters in Ireland that would be disgusted by this kind of animal cruelty.”
Speaking to Independent.ie, the WDA spokesperson said there had been a shift from poachers “hunting illegal for finance gain” to this “barbaric form of wildlife crime”.
“These animals are so scared; their meat is useless for human consummation. It’s flooded with adrenaline and other toxins.”
“Because of this, these animals are just being left to rot where they fall, which is on every level, such a tragic waste.”