It was an exceptionally busy day yesterday for police in northwestern Switzerland who apprehended a horse dealer suspected of cruelty to animals and began the process of closing down his farm.
The officers also found themselves removing hundreds of tormented animals from the farm. An estimated 90 horses, pigs, cows, sheep, goats, and llamas were among the 300 animals that had to be relocated to a military center by Swiss Army trucks.
The massive evacuation effort took place in response to the release last week of photos taken by a former farm employee. The heartbreaking images included those of dead and malnourished horses; enraging local animal-rights activists.
Animal activists immediately started staging demonstrations and holding vigils for the tortured animals in addition to launching an aggressive social media campaign and providing a signed petition to the cantonal government calling for the authorities to intervene.
swissinfo.ch – members of VGT
The 49-year-old unnamed suspect, who obviously did not learn his lesson after having had his breeder’s license limited to 60 horses in 2013, has now lost his license entirely after this most recent “appalling” situation, according to Walter Schönholzer of the Thurgau cantonal government.
Not surprisingly, the perpetrator had also amassed numerous animal cruelty convictions leading up to yesterday’s arrest.
As per swissinfo.ch, Thurgau authorities explained that regular checks over the past few years had revealed some subpar conditions at the farm but that they were always corrected as a result of the official warnings.
Sadly, the prosecutor’s office confirmed that at least 13 horses were found dead at the farm in the village of Hefenhofen over the past few months.
The Association Against Animal Factories (VGT),anindependent organization that is dedicated to reducing animal exploitation and abuse and stopping these abhorrent practices, has long claimed that that cantonal government has paid little to no attention to this notorious animal tormentor.
“There is no ethically acceptable reason to exclude non-human animals from having the same basic rights afforded to humans,” states the organization’s website. “The ability to suffer is the defining criterion for membership in a community guaranteeing basic rights. These basic rights are to be protected regardless of whether their violation is culturally, historically or religiously motivated.”
More information about VGT as well as ways people can donate to the organization is available Here!
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