“Historically, there are about 20 per year. But this year the number of reports is already between 40 and 50,” Johan Beck-Friis of the Swedish Veterinary Association (Sveriges veterinärförbund – SVF) told the local Södermanlands Nyheter newspaper.
Last week a 20-year-old pregnant mare had been cut deep inside her vagina at a pasture at the Torps säteri estate outside of Nyköping in eastern Sweden.
The owner, Jenny Karlsson, discovered last Thursday that the horse had been injured, but thought she had injured herself.
But on Saturday Karlsson saw blood running down the mare’s hind leg and only then realised where the horse had been injured.
“This is so awful, I can’t understand why someone would do something like this. It’s so sick,” she told the newspaper.
Police have no suspects in the attack.
“We plan to interview several different people and are working actively with the case,” police spokesperson Jocke Andersson told the newspaper.
According to Beck-Friis, people can be driven to carry out such detestable acts by either aggression or sexual motives.
“The exercise of total power gives this sort of deranged person a kick,” he said.
According to British research, perpetrators of such attacks on horses are usually men who have a certain degree of familiarity with the animals.
However, there are no specific traits when it comes to age, social position, or education, which are associated with animal abusers.