Swiss farmers divided over removal of cows’ horns

The question of cow horn removal, up for a vote in Switzerland, has revealed sharp divisions within the country's agricultural community. A visit to two farms reveals why. Supporters of the cow horn initiative are calling for the Swiss constitution to be amended to introduce subsidies for farmers who do not remove the horns of their cows. The leading Swiss Farmers Association has declined to take a position, preferring to leave the issue to a free vote. Two dairy farmers living in different parts of French-speaking Switzerland have starkly differing views on the issue. “I remove my milking cows’ horns to prevent them from breaking and to avoid the animals injuring each other,” says dairy farmer Laurent Tornay who, together with his sons, runs a farm near Orsières in canton Valais. Perched on a mountainside at 1,100 metres above sea level, Tornay’s farm La Rosière is accessible by a road that winds up an ever-increasing slope punctuated by breathtaking views. “It is ...
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