In a tragic and unusual case of animal cruelty, two reindeer owners in Norway learned today that they will, in fact, be held accountable for the unfathomable offenses that they had committed over the past five years.
The news comes after a year-long investigation following their initial acquittal at a trial at Indre Finnmark District Court earlier this year.
Fortunately, the appeals court reversed the decision this morning and now the men have been sentenced to prison for more than 80 breaches of animal welfare laws and fraud, having claimed compensation for the mistreated animals citing predator attacks.
According to Norwegian news agency and wire service NTB, the Hålogaland Appeals Court concluded that the reindeer owners were guilty of “undoubtedly inflicting great suffering” to the animals which resulted in flesh wounds and broken bones among other ailments.
“The accused have, through planned courses of action over a long period of time, abused the system of compensation for predatory attacks,” stated the court.
Unfortunately, the prison sentences of two years and five months for one of the perpetrators and one year and eight months for the other are in no way long enough. Especially when taking into account that more than 20 animals were reportedly abused by the offenders who were also found guilty of stealing 63 reindeer by marking animals from other herds as their own.
In addition to the prison sentences, the two herders are also required to financially compensate the reindeer owners whose animals were stolen, as well as cover their legal costs.
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