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Train kills reindeer 'like meat grinder': farmer

The Local/og · 12 Mar 2012, 12:11

Published: 12 Mar 2012 12:11 GMT+01:00

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The train line, which runs between Umeå and Lycksele, has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of reindeer over the last three months, when the unfortunate animals have wandered onto the tracks.

Finding a dead reindeer or one that is injured and needs to be euthanized is a daily occurrence for reindeer owner, Per-Mikael Jonsson, who is forced to put down many injured reindeer fearing that their internal damages may be too severe to survive.

“It’s been the worst winter I’ve experienced in the whole of my life when it comes to reindeer getting hit by trains,” he told SVT.

Jonsson, who is the chairman of the Rans community, has brought up the issue with the train service, Botniatåg AB, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

“This year, they’ve provided a shuttle service from Lycksele and increased the speed of the train so it’s like having a meat grinder that goes past,” Jonsson said to SVT.

As a result, Jonsson is moving the herd further into the mountains early to avoid the perilous rail roads.

Meanwhile, spokespeople for the train company state that they have no intention of changing the service. They currently pay 3,000 kronor ($441) for each reindeer hit; however this is not good enough for Jonsson.

Story continues below…

“For my family, this is about a couple hundred thousand kronor that we must go without. We can’t afford to keep sacrificing the herd to the train traffic,” he said.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:46 March 12, 2012 by Abe L
How about putting a fence next to the track? Just like they do with highways.
13:26 March 12, 2012 by Achilles7
Oh deer...
13:31 March 12, 2012 by star10
@Abe L: I guess you mean "Oh dear ...").
13:46 March 12, 2012 by OUIJA
He meant "Oh dear reindeer". And I agree with Abe L:

The clever farmer should have put a fence next to the track instead of loosing 200 deers.

But the whole story runs around the money, money, money. Justs ask Jonsson. He is trying to get more money for his killed reindeers than the money he gets by selling them.
13:52 March 12, 2012 by gpafledthis
Sausage ? Feed the Rosengarders (below) !! Is this "farmer" Norwegian-I ask because he seems to learn so fast ??? Sorry have to pause more mexicans coming across the border-say we could use this Botniatag for texmex border ! We could call it the Wham-O line !!
15:45 March 12, 2012 by skogsbo
Oujia, you might want to price up how much a 2m high fence cost, plus posts, plus the time to put it in. How km will he have to make his fence? And why should the farmer pay, him and his family were probably there long before the train companies, so they should fund it.

Further south in Sweden, train companies are force renting 15-20m margins of land off ALL land owners, either side along major lines, they then clear fell them, to prevent train delays in very windy or snowy weather. Most major lines and roads already have fence to prevent deer, elk and boar crossing them.

Why should the farmer reduce his grazing capacity, that just means he can only feed less stock, which is less profit either way. If the money from the train company was worthwhile I'm sure he would keep quiet and this wouldn't make the news at all.

Oui, you don't live here do you?
16:31 March 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
One wondera about low tech solutions like whistles and flashing lights on the trains to frighten the deer away (maybe these are already in place and don't work well enough), or the farmer letting out a dog 30 minutes before each train pass to get them all on one side of the track, well away from the rails. If these are Sami-style deer herds that wander around wherever they want, then even the dog solution is tricky at best.

Another question is how far short the 3000 SEK is relative to what they get from a normal deer. The innards of a train casualty deer may be too messed up to sell the meat, but the hide/leather/fur on many deer may be still be mostly salvageable.
16:46 March 12, 2012 by skogsbo
for hide, they need to be one piece, no chance there. Are you suggesting that a satisfactory outcome for the farmer is to walk the lines once or twice a day, picking up train kill to make a living? ;)
16:58 March 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Not suggesting a living entirely consisting of train kill, but rather walking the lines twice a day (or sending a well trained dog to do this) half an hour before the train arrives to shoo the deer away from tracks, ahead of the scheduled train pass through his area, if the deer are not located over too large an area (which might be a problem for Sami heards).

As for the hide, I would have thought a pair of mittens could be made with part of a hide, but then maybe nobody wants to tan and prepare a piece of hide that is less than full sized. But also on that subject, in many cases the deer is injured, rather than blown to pieces by the train, and needs to be put down due to an unknown extent of internal injuries. In that case the hide is presumably nearly intact.
17:08 March 12, 2012 by OUIJA
#6 skogsbo

Touche! I should have written that the train company should put the fence, like in many other countries is done and like they put fences when building a highway that is next to a farm with caddle. Thanks for the attention calling.

# 5 If you live next to the boarder of Mexico, it means that you live in the land that was stolen from Mexico many decades ago, in the name of the expansionist objectives of your country. Be careful, because many millions of Mexicans and of Mexican origin inhabitants might throw you to the other side of the boarder, just to make you eat real Mexican food and not your lousy Tex-Mex junk. You lousy gringo.
17:18 March 12, 2012 by al in SF
Ironic that high speed rail even exists in rural northern Sweden while politics in California seem to jeopardize the chance of high speed between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sweden, consider yourself lucky.
17:45 March 12, 2012 by skogsbo
in the US I would imagine the car and oil industry are quite against any transport that reduces peoples' dependency on it. In Sweden trains are on average, fast, punctual and cost effective, especially when travelling long distances with just 1 or 2 people in a car.
17:57 March 12, 2012 by al in SF
Having lived in both Sweden and U.S. I totally agree. Hopefully escalating gas prices might get some of our politicians to change their mind .... if not already "bought out" by lobbyists.
21:15 March 12, 2012 by Investor612

Don't believe everything the Marxists teach you about US history. The first war with Mexico where most of the territory was annexed was started by Santa Anna who rates right up with Kaiser Bill in the list of historical idiots The residents of the area lost-New Mexico and California, didn't want to become part of the US, but they didn't want to remain part of Mexico either and revolted against the Mexican government.

Texas barbeque is one of the finer things in life.
03:39 March 13, 2012 by gpafledthis
I still say this is "halal" type butcher meat-half way to sausage already !! Take some of your brown bother off welfare and earn per the pound credits Kr Call it work-fare !!
07:21 March 13, 2012 by OUIJA
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:28 March 13, 2012 by gabeltoon
How quickly you have changed the subject here.In SCOTLAND all of the railway tracks are fenced both sides to stop livestock and humans from wondering onto the tracks. The train company in question should slow down enough so as to let the reindeer pass. The trains should be fitted with a horn that sounds so to scare the animals off.The area is known to have animals moving around so the sensible thing is to be more aware of the fact.Train the drivers to be more alert.
11:06 March 13, 2012 by johan rebel
Hello, Mr. Jonsson, have you ever heard about herding? Your reindeer are your responsibility, not the taxpayer's.

The Sami have turned their unprofitable reindeer industry into a cash cow, courtesy of the Swedish taxpayers, who are paying for reindeer ostensibly killed by predators, trains etc.

Sweden is overstocked with reindeer, which cause extensive damage through overgrazing. The more of them the trains run over, the better.
15:39 March 13, 2012 by tnmccoy
Apparently, the train owners are paying the farmer about $US29,000 average each month of operation. With that kind of liability, it certainly would be safer to build a fence on the right-of-way. It wouldn't hurt to keep all reindeer penned anyway.
15:45 March 13, 2012 by tadchem
Elevated trains wouldn't have this problem. Just raise the tracks enough that wildlife and road vehicles can pass under them.
16:24 March 13, 2012 by fgarvin
The farmer should put large amounts of explosives on the deer. Bet the train owner would build a fence then :)
17:35 March 13, 2012 by Kurlis
Why not simply build a fence along the track? Or perhaps an underground culvert to allow the reindeer to cross safely? Problem solved.
18:05 March 13, 2012 by skogsbo
I can see those who have never been to northern Sweden have logged on.

Comparing northern sweden to scotland, isn't the same, the scale in Sweden is massive, even compared to the NW of Scotland. Only the mainlines to Inverness etc. and those around the cities are fenced. Try those up the North West and you'll plenty onto open hills. have you been on the train to Fort William, or further north or west again?

Sound the horn, so you are suggesting sound the horn continuously for a few hundred 100kms? It's not just one isolated place. The same for the underpass, raised track and culverts, these are wild roaming animals in a vast wilderness, not managed farmers fields. You would need to rasied 100kms of track or build a few 1000 culverts, sound feasible?

Why should the farmer herd them, he was there before the train?

Fences, it's a lot of fencing, but probably the only real solution.

Curious about this over grazing, as links? ;)
18:17 March 13, 2012 by rmc0008
in today's globalized economy, perhaps the farmer should be open to international solutions; what if he contracted al qaeda, whose business model is suffering due to the various arab spring movements, to fit the reindeer with impact-sensitive explosive vests? he could then probably renegotiate a better kill-fee with the train company. now is that thinking outside the box or what?
19:28 March 13, 2012 by LibWatchDog
Clearly deer are endangering high speed trains. They need to outlawed.
20:50 March 13, 2012 by Yirmin Snipe
A little honesty would be nice. Americans use cars because it is cheaper than using a train... This is because we don't tax the gas to the point of being vastly overpriced. In Europe the amount of taxes on gas is obscene and that money then is used to subsidize the trains. Sorry, but the reality is trains are more efficient compared to cars they only seem that way when the taxes are used to manipulate the results.
21:00 March 13, 2012 by crtoca
OUIJA, regarding the Gringos taking Texas, should the university in Mexico also teach about Mexico taking the land from the Apaches, France taking the land from Spain, Spain from the Aztecs, the Aztecs from whoever else was there? That line of thinking is a dead end. Every person on earth can tell a similar tale.
00:39 March 14, 2012 by Da Goat
just give the deer enough time they will work out the rolling guillotine is bad news,

meanwhile collect the hit ones and process them best you can, and send the bill in there is a good living to be made @ that rate of compensation, declare it as losses in tax too and collect a bit more!
07:47 March 14, 2012 by OUIJA
@ crtoca # 27

And your mother, how is she feeling today? What I wrote is no tale. Now let me tell you something, you lousy gringo lover.

Mexico kicked the lousy gringos from Veracruz back in November 1914. The Mexican general in charge of that, was my grandfather, Heriberto Jara.

Now, do you want to talk about USA history of interventions around the world, because certainly, Mexico has not declared the war to any country. Mexico was invaded twice by your lousy beloved Tex-Mex eaters (1847, 1914) and by France. Mexico did not declare the war. Only until 1941 when two Mexican tankers were sunk by German submarines, Mexico became a country against the Axis (Germany, Italy and Japan) and participated with a jet squadron (201) in Asia.

But to refresh your lousy gringo lover memory, let me tell you that the USA, has had military interventions since 1890:

1.- SOUTH DAKOTA 1890 (-?) 300 Lakota Indians massacred at Wounded Knee.

2.- ARGENTINA 1890 Buenos Aires interests protected.

3.- CHILE 1891 Marines clash with nationalist rebels.

I can make the list as long as 10 trains like the ones killing reindeers: Haiti, Idaho, Hawaii, Nicaragua, China, Korea, etc, etc, until we come to

4.- KOREA 1951-53 (-?) Troops, naval, bombing , nuclear threats U.S./So. Korea fights China/No. Korea to stalemate; A-bomb threat in 1950, and against China in 1953. Still have bases.

5.-IRAN 1953 Command Operation CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.

6.-VIETNAM 1954 Nuclear threat French offered bombs to use against seige. We can jump to

7.-VIETNAM l960-75 Troops, naval, bombing, nuclear threats Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; one million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969.

8.-CUBA l961 Command operation CIA-directed exile invasion fails

Just to wipe out your big gringo lover mouth,

Panama, Indonesia, Dominican, Guatemala, Oman, Laos.

To finish the cleaning of your mouth, we cannot forget Irak, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Bosnia and now, your gringo is targeting IRAN.

How about the above?

And about the apaches, "Apache raids on Mexican villages were so numerous and brutal that no area was safe. .... Geronimo and a small band of his followers would take refuge from U.S. authorities. ... However, he was not allowed to return to the land of his birth"

Are you an apache descendant?

10:34 March 14, 2012 by stevo1
it takes 200 deaths before you work out to move the reindeer away from the train line, what a fool! obviously this farmer is not very bright! then again, he breeds reindeer....
14:40 March 14, 2012 by Walther
Reindeer, more like Traindeer. Waka Waka
18:37 March 14, 2012 by OUIJA

Come on. I am waiting for you.
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