Swiss Voters Say ‘No’ to Ending Cow Horn Removal

Amy Tang
By Amy Tang
November 25, 2018World News

Should farmers in Sweden let the horns on their cow and goats grow?

No, according to Swiss voters. Preliminary results from the polls showed 47 percent voters said “Yes” and 53 percent say “No.”

The leader of the initiative to preserve “the dignity of livestock,” Armin Capaul, started a national debate on animal rights following a campaign that began nine years ago.

Capaul collected more than 100,000 signatures that triggered a national vote.

Three-quarters of Swiss cows are dehorned or genetically hornless. The dehorning process uses a red-hot iron, which critics say is painful for the animal. Capaul’s supporters compared dehorning to castrating cats or dogs.

People that disagreed with Capaul said horns can be a danger for farmers and other animals, and horned animal also require more space, and are therefore more expensive to keep.

The government may have opposed the motion, but the opinions among the agricultural workers were split. The Swiss farmers’ union gave no recommendation on the issue to its 52,000 members.

Capaul tried to get a 190 Swiss franc ($191.65) annual subsidy per horned animal for farmers, which the government opposed, saying it would take up too much of its 3 billion franc annual agricultural budget.

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