Swiss voters to choose whether cows are happier with or without their horns
Swiss voters are set to head to the polls to vote in a referendum that will make a decision about cows, more specifically about their horns.
Voters in residents will vote about whether farmers should remove or keep the horns of cows in order to provide the animals with psychological comfort.
Swissinfo reported that only 10 percent of Swiss cows still have their horns, according to the initiators of the vote, which contradicts with the image that Switzerland presents in its touristic booklets, posters and its famous chocolates with images of cows with their horns.
Armin Capaul, a farmer from Mount Graubunden, has managed to launch this popular initiative alone and gathered the 100,000 signatures so far to force a referendum. He financed it from his pension, as well as donations he received from several sources; including the Animal Protection Society and Greenpeace Environmental organization.
The initiative demands encouraging the farmers to keep to horns of their cows. It also calls for the Swiss government to subsidize the owners of cattle, bulls and goats as long as they keep their horns. Since the majority of the farmers dehorn their cows to be able to put them in smaller area without getting injured.
As for the dehorning process, Capaul explains that the animals would need anesthesia and be given painkillers in order to bear the pain. Highlighting that cows and goats are dehorned before they reach three weeks old but that despite that, only 20 percent of the cows suffer pain for years.
Horns are crucial for the cows, as it does not only help them to identify each other, but also in communicating, digestion, perform body care and regulate their body temperature as well, according to the report.