An anonymous tip at the beginning of June led officials in Örkelljunga in southern Sweden to the mass poultry grave, swarming with flies, on the property of chicken farmer Jan Erik Einarsson, previously a municipal commissioner and a local politician affiliated with the Moderate Party.
“Of course, I should have called. But I wasn't myself after the tragedy. It was the worst thing that has happened during the 18 years I have had chickens,” Einarsson told Sydsvenskan.
Einarsson came home one evening to find 11,000 dead birds after a fan broke down in a building housing 15,000 chickens. In their struggle for air, many had been trampled to death by other birds.
Einarsson should have reported the incident to a veterinarian and public authorities, as well as apply for a permit to dispose of the bodies. But the politician preferred to keep the matter a private affair.
As local environmental authorities look into the matter, the politician could face a fine of up to 10,000 kronor ($1,250).