A farmer in Målselv, Northern Norway, has been indicted and faces a court trial on several counts of violating animal welfare laws. It’s the latest case of neglect within Norway’s agriculture industry, which otherwise claims to have among the best-tended livestock in the world.
Not so, given several recent cases of a neglect and abuse among those producing lamb and pork. After a local veterinarian was tipped about problems in the Målselv farmer’s barn, inspectors found 83 dead sheep inside last fall. They also had to kill 11 more who were so starved that they needed to be put out of their misery.
It remained unclear why the farmer, a man who otherwise was well-regarded among his colleagues, had stopped feeding his animals or failed to release them for free range grazing last summer. He’s since been ordered to halt farm operations and will likely never be allowed to have responsibility for livestock again.
“This case is hard on him,” his defense attorney told state broadcaster NRK. “This is both an animal tragedy and a human tragedy.”