Farmer let his cattle starve to death

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A Norwegian man living in the county of Nord-Trøndelag has admitted that he’s responsible for the deaths of 92 cattle on his farm in Fosnes. Police found between 70 and 80 dead animals in his barn late last week and boosted the death toll on Thursday.

“We have now found 92 dead animals,” John Bjarne Falch of Norway’s food safety agency Mattilsynet told state broadcaster NRK. The farmer will now be charged with gross violation of Norway’s animal welfare law.

‘Animal tragedy’
He admitted to police that he had neither fed nor watered his cattle, nor cleaned out the barn, and that was the reason for what authorities are calling another case of “animal tragedy” in Norway. It’s the latest in a series of such cases in recent years, where farmers simply stop caring for their animals.

“There’s no question that the animals have died because of a lack of food,” Falch told NRK. The dead animals emitted such a stink that workers gathering up their carcasses had to use gas masks, according to NRK. Neigbouring farmers helped remove the dead animals and bury them in a common grave.

‘Life situation’ blamed
Newspaper Trønder-Avisa reported that neighbours had contacted police after noticing that cattle feed stored outdoors hadn’t been touched since December. Police raided the farm on Friday and were met with a terrible site.

“Our crews have concluded that they can’t think about how much the cattle suffered, then their work becomes even tougher,” Falch told NRK. “We’ll have to speak out about this, though, afterwards.”

Media reported that the farmer’s “life situation” was blamed for his failure to care for his animals. Police hoped they would get more answers as their investigation continued.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund