A high court prosecutor in Greece has launched an investigation following the brutal killing of four horses in the remote village of Samarina, in Grevena prefecture of northwest Greece.

Prosecutor Anastasia Masoura requested the local first instance court in the city of Grevena to initiate urgent legal action “to identify self-evident punishable acts and locate the perpetrators regarding the death of four (4) horses in the area of Samarina, Grevena.”

According to wording in the judicial order, the “dismemberment seems to have been done with a professional butcher knife.” A veterinarian called in to examine the dead animals reported that they had been first shot with a shotgun before being dismembered.

“We found four dead horses, three of which were mutilated. According to rough estimates, the meat carved from the dead animals is approximately 750 kilograms in total. The way it was done shows that everything was done for the meat,” the vet’s report stated, as reported by Athens-based TV Mega.

Authorities believe the carved-out meat from the slaughtered horses most likely taken for consumption, while the entrails and the head were intact. “Whatever is edible, they took. It seems to have happened about 20-24 hours ago, maximum (from the time the animals were examined). The dismemberment seems to have been done with a professional butcher knife, which cut very well. And certainly, so many kilograms of meat were transported by vehicle.”