Jutland farmer accused of animal cruelty

Prosecutors say horses and other animals were found starving in filthy stables

A 58-year-old farmer from southern Jutland is accused of mistreating animals on his farms by allowing them to live in faeces-filled stables with no food.

Investigators said that emaciated horses, pigs wallowing in pens with a thick layer of manure on the floor and ponies trapped in dark stables with no food or water are just some of the horrors found at the 58-year-old man’s two farms in Hejnsvig and Grindsted in southern Jutland.

A court case, in which he faces charges of animal cruelty, began in Kolding Municipal Court today.

Horrid conditions
The man is charged with failing to protect the animals on his farms from “pain, distress, suffering and permanent injury” since the start of 2014.

Prosecutors said that three of the horses on the Grindsted property were so starved and exhausted that they could not even walk. Others were completely emaciated, their back muscles atrophied and ribs showing.

The charge sheet claims the “weakened horses” should have been put down a long time ago.

Old chairs, barrels, a low blade and other scrap metal with sharp edges were found in the stalls with the animals.

On the Hejnsvig property, there were 16 horses and six pigs found living without food, water and light in stables with a layer of wet manure several centimetres thick on the floor.

Two faeces-covered ponies stood in the gloom, while pigs ran loose in a barn filled with wires, iron chains, glass jars and old furniture.

No Old McDonald
The man is also accused of letting ten horses and a goat out of an enclosure on February 11 last year after police and a veterinarian decided that the animals should be euthanised and should remain in the paddock until they were put down.

Police arrested the man on the same day

The prosecution wants to confiscate the farmer’s 12 Shetland ponies, nine pigs, four cats, three guinea fowls, six geese, 62 ducks, 280 chickens and a dog.

READ MORE: Animal welfare centre to reduce number of farmyard filicides

Also, 1,300 kilograms of meat and 14 chest freezers will be taken should the man be found guilty.

A judgement on the case is expected on 17 August.