Train kills reindeer ‘like meat grinder’: farmer

A new high-speed railway in northern Sweden has already claimed the lives of 200 reindeer since it opened three months ago, forcing the farm owner to move to safer pastures.

Train kills reindeer 'like meat grinder': farmer

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.

“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.

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