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Investigation Authorities blamed for mishandling animal cruelty case

Army personnel taking away horses from an animal farm

In August 2017, army personnel took away horses from the farm which was at the centre of a case of animal cruelty. 

(Keystone)

The government in canton Thurgau faces criticism for reaching wrong decisions and taking inadequate measures to deal with a horse breeder accused of animal cruelty in eastern Switzerland.

An independent investigation found that the cantonal government had failed to take the necessary steps to prevent cases of cruelty, known since 2007, on the animal farm. However, the cantonal government disagreed over the costs and whether the proposed measures were reasonable.

The report, presented on Wednesday, also says that the cantonal veterinary office and police disagreed over measures to stop the horse breeder, who had repeatedly threatened and even attacked officers and officials.

The dispute between the authorities and the man began in 1995 and escalated last year, when it made nationwide headlines and led to several criminal investigations.

Police carried out a massive operation against the farm and confiscated about 250 animals. Most of the horses were later auctioned off.

Animal rights groups had strongly criticised the cantonal government, saying a 2005 law states that animals must be adequately kept and fed, as well as given enough space to move around.

Publication of the official report was postponed several times.

swissinfo.ch with Keystone-SDA; ug

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