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HORSE

Neglected horse had half-metre-long hooves

A farm-owner in northern Sweden has been reported to police after a horse was found to have overgrown hooves measuring an "unprecedented" 50 centimetres in length.

Neglected horse had half-metre-long hooves

“It’s absolutely terrible. Just awful. The inspector who made the discovery was left in a state of shock,” Helena Ahlqvist, head veterinarian in Västernorrland County, told The Local.

“The case is unprecedented. No veterinarian has ever seen anything like it before. There’s nothing like it described in any of the literature. It’s a case of the most severe animal cruelty.”

According to Ahlqvist, the horse, named Charlie, was immediately put down following the discovery in late November 2011 on a farm near Sollefteå.

The veterinary reports state that Charlie was 27 years old, could no longer walk, and had not had his hooves tended to in years.

“When I stroked my hand over Charlie’s shoulders I could feel that he was only skin and bones,” wrote the veterinary head, Anders Paulsson, in his report.

“It can’t be ruled out that he could no longer lie down and stand up.”

The report asserts that Charlie stood in his small stable all day, unable to move around at all, suffering from “severe physical and psychological pain”.

As horses are pack animals, the fact that the horse stood alone in a cramped stall resulted in complete indifference to the veterinarian’s voice, an indicator of deep suffering, according to the report.

Charlie was one of five horses referenced in the report and all five were found to have suffered from various levels of neglect and had to be be put down.

The owner has now been reported to police and may face charges of animal cruelty and violation of the animal welfare act according to the county administrative board.

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ANIMAL RIGHTS

Swedish nationalist ‘shot and ate’ lion and giraffe

A Sweden Democrat official, Angelo Vukasovic, has sparked outrage in Sweden after posting pictures of himself posing with dead animals which he says he shot and then ate.

Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
This picture that Angelo Vukasovic posted to his Facebook page has angered many Swedes.

Vukasovic, a local party treasurer, runs a hunting shop in Nybro in south-eastern Sweden. 

This week photos from hunting trips to Africa began circulating on social media that show him posing with a lion, a giraffe and hippo he had hunted and killed. 

Many commenters were furious at a perceived lack of respect for the animals, but Vukasovic was unrepentant. 

“I’ve eaten 80 percent of the animals I’ve killed, including the lion in the picture,” he told newspaper Aftonbladet. 

“The tastiest meat I’ve ever eaten, and will ever eat, is giraffe,” he added. 

Vukasovic, who organizes hunting trips, said the photos were taken in South Africa and that the hunt was 100 percent legal.

“Hunting certain animals benefits people and benefits the animal. Previously hunting rhino hunting was banned, and now suddenly they’ve permitted it and there’s a reason for that,” he told the newspaper. 

He added that the local authorities allowed hunting in areas where animals were starving due to a lack of food and water. 

Commenters on his Facebook page however called him a “disgrace to Sweden” and a “caveman”. 

When The Local reached Vukasovic by phone on Tuesday he said he didn’t have time to talk: 

“I have customers in my shop right now. They’re much more important to me than you.”

The Sweden Democrats said on Tuesday they were looking into the matter before deciding whether to take any action.