A rural population in the Alentejo is “living in fear” as 200 head of cattle run apparently “out of control”.
“They are destroying olive trees and cork oaks” and “reproducing themselves” in “a wild way”, complain locals, who have appealed for help from the authorities.
“We have had bulls in the village at night”, a frightened householder told national tabloid Correio da Manhã, describing how the cattle seem to be everywhere.
“You can be going along the road and suddenly the cows appear”, she said. “Whoever is not travelling cautiously risks having serious problems”.
The chaotic situation has been building for years, CM explains – with a number of court actions in place, but awaiting decisions.
Meantime, the cattle’s “intermingling” with wild boar and deer have prompted fears of disease, particularly tuberculosis.
Crato’s municipal vet Maria do Rosário do Matutino suggests the situation is a powder keg, while no one seems capable of locating the animals’ rightful owner/s.
Anyone planning a road trip to this usually picturesque area, in the district of Portalegre, would be wise to steer clear of the village of Monte da Pedra… or drive slowly.