In what appears to be a new case of animal neglect, police in Northern Norway found 80 dead sheep on a farm in Midt-Troms. Another 11 had to be killed to alleviate their own suffering.
Police were reluctant to release details of the animal tragedy, but Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that they were investigating apparent violations of animal welfare laws and were questioning the farmer involved. Neighbours were being questioned as well after police found sheep dead last Tuesday from apparent starvation.
“It’s like being kicked in the stomach when something like this happens,” Jan Otta Østring, leader of the local Troms sheep- and goat-herders’s organization, told NRK. “I wonder what’s happened, but think this must involve a personal tragedy when so many animals have starved on a ranch in Midt-Troms.”
Police were first called to the scene by a local veterinarian working for Norway’s food safety authority, Mattilsynet. At this time of year, most sheep and cattle are still out på beite (released for free-range grazing), making it more astonishing to find so many dead sheep starved to death inside a barn.
“This is very surprising,” Geir Lofthus of the local police district told NRK. He wasn’t sure whether the sheep had been released for the summer grazing season that ends next week