The Swedish myth of the world’s best animal welfare

5 Apr

 

Sweden is banking that its reputation for ”food safety, wholesomeness, freshness, simplicity, ethics and culture, animal welfare and respect for the environment” will triumph over Gallic culinary flair.

Eskil

Eskil Erlandsson has launched a campaign to make his country the haute cuisine leader of the world.

”We are going to put Sweden on the world map as a country of good food,” he said earlier this week. ”We are in a good position to conquer the rest of the world.”

That was in 2007 and now we can summon the outcome:  Sweden has the lowest production of food in EU in relation to consumption.

Sweden is self-sufficient in cereals, but the production of milk and pork and beef has dropped to between 40 and 60 percent. Since joining the EU, there is no stockpile, either in Sweden or in other EU countries. The individual household food stocks are expected to last between three and twelve days. The stores stock lasts one day and central stock lasts between three and eight days, the food industry and the ports have stock for a few days. If the transportation fails the stores will be empty after one day. If the country is isolated, half our daily foods, the ones that we normally import, end after ten to twelve days.

One of the reasons to the situation described above is that politicians persist in the Swedish Animal Welfare Act states over EU legislation. In it are introduced much stricter requirements than the EU requires. In particular, they focus governmental controls on punishing farmer for wrongdoing by officials in charge. The number of penalties has become a measure of government efficiency to control. The result is that the entire herd can be disposed of without there being anything wrong with the animals.

Swedish farmers are thus afraid of government controls and many shut down their businesses not just as their costs are greater than in the rest of Europe but because of the risk of sanctions from the authorities. The Animal Welfare Act states that police may advance the costs that arise when the animal is disposed. This has created a market for commercial enterprises who care very little about the animals authorities place, but more about the great amount of money they generate. A herd of some hundred farm animals can give the farmer a bill of several 10,000 euros.

Another sanction is a prohibition to have animals that Sweden is the only country to issue without a trial in court. It means a lifetime ban from owning or managing animals and is therefore a permanent blacklisting of a farmer. Sweden has perhaps the world’s strictest animal protection laws, or at least the world’s most arbitrary inspections and largest lawlessness for animal owners. The consequence has been that the animals Swedes eat now is raised in other countries providing more favorable business environments.

The following case is a typical example of how government and commercial companies who take care of animals interacting with a result that is a disaster for both the animals and the animal owner. This is the true story where animals suffer and die  in the name of  ”animal welfare”.

During January-February 2014 sent a Swedish television channel TV4 a reality show about ”Animal Inspectors”. One of the persons involved, Peter Stenberg, was guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when no cameras were on.

geten som bröt nacken
If you ask ‘animals’ best friend’ welfare inspector Peter Stenberg and his partner Alexandra Boijsen from the provincial government of Skåne is definitely broken neck preferable to poop in the pants. The photo above was taken by the inspectors themselves to illustrate the poop. It is dried poop in the fur to be cut away as the goat had diarrhea but healed. Note that the neck and the back line are fine and perfectly straight. A few hours later and at 100 km distance, this goat will be dragged from a truck on Animal Ambulances farm in Ingelsträde with her head completely twisted backwards.

Peter Stenberg

”We want to change things fast for the sake of the animals” says Peter Stenberg in the TV show.

Peter Stenberg became nationally famous from the soap Animal Inspectors in TV4 where he and some others claimed to ”speak up for the animals ”. We shall see what happened when the TV camera was not on. If the goat above could speak, I am convinced that she preferred to stay on the farm with her goat family, with or without poop in the pants.

First let’s go back to autumn 2013. On a farm outside Hörby in Skåne in the south of Sweden lives a woman who for decades have been keeping a flock of goats, actually the nation’s largest not kept for milk, but only for hobby and landscape care.

The origin is a series of complaints from a neighbor, a freelance journalist Tomas Polvall, who moved back to Sweden after he sold his farm in Denmark. He begins mail bombing County Board September 20. ”This is the first of a long series of emails and phone calls coming to try to get any of you to understand that what you perceive as a low priority trifle is a high priority for us”, he writes. And so he speculates about the size of goat owners land.

bild 4

Polvall complains about goats that slipped out and walk over his garden. He sends in pictures showing healthy, happy animals in a beautiful setting. ”Pastoral” the judge in the Administrative Court later will come to call it. Polvall don´t seem to get any bigger hearing for his complaints. There is simply no animal welfare issue.

bild 1

In the middle of November, some 15 goats get sick of diarrhea. The owner believes that deworming done each fall has failed and she repeats it. About half of the animals recover to but a number, most youngsters die suddenly. On November 18, she bikes to the community. The dead animals are not yet collected and a couple are still ill.

Something happens on that day as Alexandra Boijsen writes a police requisition on plain paper by hand. The following day on Tuesday morning, November 19th the animal owner drives her car into the community to the bank to withdraw money for vet and hay bales that she ordered from a farmer. Once back she is met by the police to prevent her from going down on the farm. On the farm are Peter Stenberg, Alexandra Boijsen, two policemen and a young vet named Julius Kemna. He seems to be well acquainted with Alexandra as he jokes with her and she pulls him in his clothes.

Goat owner says: ”After a while, maybe 20 minutes, some people came up against us in the avenue. It turned out to be Peter Stenberg and Alexandra Boijsen and perhaps Julius Kemna, the vet. Peter Stenberg says I must not go down to the farm as they are going to shoot my dearest goat Sippan. ”

”Peter Stenberg pulls out Sippans lifeless body and throws her in front of me and the blood flowing over her beautiful white coat, she is finally in a big puddle of blood. Then Peter Stenberg sits squatting beside her, I stand a distance away, can not see the horror they made​​. Peter Stenberg waving at me with his finger and tells me: ”Come here and you’ll see.”  I can not go I said and turned around. ”

Julius Kemna states that Sippan is skinny. Emaciated, says Peter Stenberg that the entire crew is when he allows himself to be interviewed in the local newspapers a couple of days later. The autopsy shows that Sippan, that got back feet frozen away as a newborn eight years earlier and ever since have walked on unhindered thick soles of callus tissue, is obese, is not suffering and in addition, she has two full-term baby goats in her belly.

A large proportion of the goats is heavily pregnant, will give birth the next few days and must not be transported. That ignores Peter Stenberg and decides that the commercial company The Animal Ambulance in Skåne AB is to retrieve all 83 healthy animals immediately. Fast will it go, as he said. The vet will later claim that he was not given the task of gestation examine the animals and that he was unaware that they would be transported. He will also claim that it would be too stressful to investigate them. He also missed that Sippan, he already shot, was about to give birth. Department of Agriculture has not given any exception and said afterwards that they ”assume that the vet had examined them”. Veterinarian Kemna hastens to run as his car stands in the way of the Animal Ambulances  truck, which he learned is heading.

So the Animal Ambulance arrives. The Company is said to have no transport permits for goods, where animals are included according to the Swedish Transport Board. Later the owner will blame an other company for preforming the transport and they will share the money invoiced for the police.

Mikael Gustavsson

Mikael Gustavsson drives the white truck and he drives up the yard. Later he will deny even being there.


Föraren av den röda bilen

The red truck is driven by a younger man and parked down the main road. Where it shall come to stand all the time, no animals will be loaded in it and it will go back empty.

Lisa Linde

From the Animal Ambulance also participates Lisa Linde and another young woman. All these people including two policemen will be engaged for more than three hours in chasing terrified goats and packing them into the white truck that is far too small to carry so many animals. Everyone knows that it’s illegal. But so what. The female farmer is threatened and assaulted by the police. Peter Stenberg ascertains that she has no computer and close friends.

The goat owner says: ”Obviously, the goats became frightened as strangers ran around and chased them with sticks, boards and other things they could find.

I cried silently to myself when I saw it. The police officers and Stenberg scolded me and they said I scared the animals, when they noticed that their owner was sad. The police yelled at me that if I did not stop crying, they would remove me from there and put me in prison. They invited me to instead help to catch the goats. This I refused. ”

”They got an idea to cut up the net in only one side and loosen about 7 meters, of which one side is nailed in a thick pole. Mikael Gustavsson and Peter Stenberg have then as a working hypothesis that when the goats they hunt approach the truck and the high ramp, workers from Animal Ambulance should run behind the terrified animals to pull them together with the fence and line up against the ramp much like fish in a net.

Of course the animals overturned beneath the steep ramp and fell in a mess and rattle and become entangled in the net. Then Gustavsson and his employees hurry forward and grabs horns, legs, whatever they can get hold of and drag nets and goats up halfway. Someone guarding that no one should slip out again, and then pulls up the last bit. ”

”Mind that this particular group of goats that were the first to be loaded consisted predominantly of pregnant and heavily pregnant females. Among the big white goat that they finally chased so hard that she fell over and got her head twisted under her body when they threw themselves over her. Then Gustavsson grabs her in one horn and drags her about 30 meters. He got help to drag her the last 10 meters and when they pulled her ​​into the truck  she was so injured and exhausted that she could not stand on her feet in the truck. ”

On top and after big bucks were loaded. The injured goat not only got to wait several hours while the others were loaded. She also got the rest of them on top of her. The goats suffering on the truck must have been terribly, goats screamed and wailed. But all was approved by  ”animal best friends,” ”guardian of the law” and ”lucky-you-exist” conveyors. What are you  not capable to do with 35 000 euro within reach!

This is the goat in the first picture, she too was highly pregnant. On arrival at Ingelsträde, a journey of about two hours, she has according to veterinary Anneli Karlsson backward tilted head and her body is shaking. She was freed from her suffering. Then she was fired up the company’s home crematorium and animal owner billed 90 euro for cremation. The veterinarian observes a goat with afterbirth hanging behind. She loosens it but can not find the baby. It was left on the truck, stillborn or trampled to death along with the other injured or dead goats. The vet does not see the truck and the staff informs her that there are 82 goats. She did not count them herself.

Annonser

5 svar to “The Swedish myth of the world’s best animal welfare”

  1. forystablogg 11 augusti, 2014 den 06:44 #

    Nej Julius Kemna är inte den samme som jägaren. DEnne var troligen Hörbys kommunjägare men han vägrade skjuta bocken de skrämt ut. Den andre föraren Sonny Nilsson. Den unga kvinnan är inte Pike. Det var två poliser Ingemarsson och Wahlöö.

  2. Göran 6 april, 2014 den 09:05 #

    Sweden in 2014 can be compared vith Nazi-Germany in the 1930:s

  3. lerousse 5 april, 2014 den 11:24 #

    The self-aggrandizement Swedish propaganda seems to be that well-cemented outside of Sweden that it is difficult to convince people in other countries to believe that what here is described can happen in a country like Sweden. I have on several occasions tried to bring the subject about what bad things is going on in this field for discussion, for example with farmers at meetings in Brussels. But it is not easy to convince the world how bad it is set in this field in Sweden nowadays.

  4. Åke 5 april, 2014 den 09:27 #

    The sad thing is that there is no justice for animal owners unless they can afford good lawyers.

    Civil servants responsibility towards the public is very limited. Severe punishment like ”ban on animal care or ownership”, ”instant confiscation of animals” can be issued by ”animal inspectors” with very limited animal care experience. Their judgement stands strong against external real experience like veterinarians, academic agroculturists and experienced independent farmers. Appeal is normally transfered to formal administrative courts with limited agricultural or practical animal competence, without verifying the competence, bias, professionalism of the civil servant.

  5. yorkielove 5 april, 2014 den 06:18 #

    A wonderful example, in it´s sadness, how one can expose the Swedish animal wellfare issues how they really are.

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