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FARMING

Thurgau’s rescued horses to be put on public sale this week

The 93 horses seized from a breeder on a farm in Thurgau where they had been mistreated will be put on sale on Thursday.

The horses were among 300 animals confiscated from the farm on August 7th after pictures taken by a former employee and published in newspaper Blick showed severely malnourished and mistreated horses at the property. 
 
 
The colonel in charge of the operation, Jürg Liechti, last week told the press that the animals had arrived dirty, unkempt, unshod and nervous, while some were seriously emaciated. It may take years before some of the horses behaved normally again, he said. 
 
However ten days after they were rescued, the Thurgau cantonal vet is putting the animals up for sale on Thursday, August 17th, it announced
 
According to Liechti, the army centre can’t house the horses beyond August 18th. 
 
The speed of the sale has angered some, including Animal Protection Switzerland (PSA). 
 
“We are sad and angry about the failure of the Thurgau authorities, who show with this precipitous action that they are indifferent to animal welfare,” it said in a statement.
 
Liechti stressed that the horses would not be sold at a cut price, and that future buyers should have not only enough money but the time and a suitable space to care for the animals properly, reported ATS.
 
Every horse has been microchipped and their future care will be monitored carefully, the Thurgau authorities told the press.
 
Since the horses were seized, the Thurgau veterinary service has received hundreds of calls from people wanting to buy one or donate money for their welfare, they said. 
 
Those that are not sold on Thursday won’t be kicked out of the army barracks, said Liechti, though he did not give details of how they would be housed.
 
The sale will be held at the Schönbuhl barraks from 9am on Thursday. Interested parties should simply turn up. Further details will be released on the day.

FARMING

Shredding of live chicks to be banned in Switzerland from January 2020

The crushing of live male chicks is at the centrepiece of a number of new animal protection regulations to be passed in the new year.

Shredding of live chicks to be banned in Switzerland from January 2020
Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

A number of other changes to mass agriculture will also come into effect in January, including tracking sheep and goats, as well as greater restrictions on pesticides and more assistance available to farmers in the instance of drought. 

In industrial farming across the globe, male chicks are typically shredded a day after birth as they do not lay eggs and are of little value in factory farms. 

Although the practice is relatively rare in Switzerland, it will be formally forbidden from January 2020. 

READ: Germany allows the shredding of live chicks to continue

The law does include some exceptions for smaller egg producers, however if male chicks are to be put to death, this must now be done with CO2 gas. 

The Swiss House of Representatives, when passing the law, called the practice “absurd”. 

Technology exists which can determine a chick’s sex just nine days into incubation. Although this is used in the United States, Germany and elsewhere, it is as yet not widespread in Switzerland. 

Pesticide restrictions, helicopters for thirsty cows

The Swiss government has made army helicopters available to transport water for cattle in the instance of drought. 

Switzerland’s central animal trafficking database will now also track sheep and goats, with the animals to be given tracking ear tags. 

Furthermore, there will be restrictions on certain pesticides, with the carcinogenic Chlorothalonil banned from January onwards. 

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