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SVP goat found alive but a little off-colour

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11:38 CEST+02:00

Swiss far-right party SVP has confirmed that its mascot, "Zottel" the goat, which was reported missing in a feared kidnapping over the weekend, has been found tied to a tree and smeared with black paint.

The animal named Zottel and a fellow goat Mimu was found in the Zurich-Witikon area on Tuesday, said the Swiss People's Party.

"The dwarf goats were tied to a tree and painted in black," it said, adding that it was relieved that the animals could be returned to Ernst Schibli, a parliamentarian.

"It condemns the cowardly act by extremist delinquants," added the party.

Members of a group called Anti Fascist Action claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the two goats.

“Now we also have a scapegoat”, the group said in a sarcastic letter published on Saturday morning, threatening to sacrifice the animal.

Zottel has been the SVP's mascot since the 2007 elections, when the party splashed posters across Switzerland depicting three white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag.

According to the SVP's website, "Zottel saves Switzerland" and is "against mass immigration".

For the October 23rd legislative elections, the SVP has centred its campaign around the issue of immigration, which it believes is out of control.

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