Sunday, February 21, 2016

Farmer seeks financial support from government for owners of animals with horns

A farmer from the canton of Bern in Switzerland has launched a campaign to seek financial support from the Swiss federal government for owners of animals with horns.

Armin Capaul, originally from the canton of Graub√ľnden, confirmed on Thursday that he had collected more than 100,000 signatures for the initiative, which he hopes to put to a national vote. Only three-quarters of the signatures have been validated so far but the campaign will continue until the end of February, Capaul said.

The initiative “for the dignity of agricultural livestock” calls on Bern offer monetary help to owners of cows, bulls for breeding, goats and goats for breeding when they have horns. Currently no such subsidies are available. Capaul argues there are extra costs to owning horned animals.

In Switzerland nine out of ten cows no longer have horns. The risk of injury among animals or to humans is the principal reason to encourage most farmers to dehorn their cattle. Animals with horns require more space and specific facilities. Capaul’s initiative has won support from animal protection groups, the association for small and medium-sized farmers, Bio Suisse and ProSpecieRara.

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