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Cattle farmer fined after buffeting Berta

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16:25 CET+01:00

A Swiss farmer has been fined after he was found guilty of driving his jeep into one his own cows.

The 37-year-old farmer gave chase in August 2010 after the expectant mother, Berta, took to her hooves and fled the field where she grazed in Pfäffikon, northern Switzerland, newspaper NZZ reports.

A woman who watched the events unfold from a distance of around 300 metres said the farmer drove up close to the cow in his Jeep Grand Cherokee and rammed her hind legs on several occasions, eventually breaking them. 

The woman reported the incident to the police, while a veterinarian called to the scene decided to put the suffering creature down.

The farmer admitted colliding with the animal but insisted the contact had been accidental, pointing out to the cantonal high court in Zurich that the cow was worth 3,500 francs ($3,800).

But his version was rejected both by a veterinary report and the witness, who described what she had seen as “basically a witch-hunt”.

Confirming an earlier ruling, the court on Monday found the farmer guilty of animal cruelty and fined him 2,700 francs, as well as issuing him with a 9,000-franc suspended fine.

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