Deer Liberated from Farm in Switzerland

Received anonymously:

On 6th of May 2019 I took action in Wettingen in the Swiss Canton of Aargau. I destroyed the fence that locked up 150 breeding deer at the farm, Mooshof, of Walter and Pius Benz. According to the Aargauer Zeitung, many animals were able to flee, but many have returned to the enclosure. The freedom is unusual for these wild animals, which are bred here because of their meat.

Walter and Pius Benz are worried about the escaped animals. They are ‘under stress’. Not a word is said about their breeding the animals to kill them and sell their meat for profit. The Mooshof is not a sanctuary for animals. The profit of their death is the only purpose of this farm! Let us not be deceived by the crocodile tears of these men. They don’t care at all about the welfare of the animals – otherwise they wouldn’t kill them professionally.

Since fallow deer are not native to Switzerland, the remaining escaped animals should be shot. ‘This is what the law wants’, explains Pius Benz, deputy hunting supervisor of the region: ‘The federal hunting law stipulates that no alien animals may be reintroduced.’ Again, the perverse character of the law becomes apparent: it categorises life and imposes artificial national boundaries on nature. Who may live here (and be shot, because this is often the fate of ‘free’ wild animals), who may not, who may or ‘must’ be killed? Which animals are subject to which jurisdiction? What counts here is not the condition or characteristics of the respective animal, but only the benefit that the capitalist economy derives from it. The animal exploiters Benz have filed a complaint, among other things for violation of the Animal welfare Law. In the speciesist, state and capitalist logic this report makes sense: The animal exploiters are upset that the animals are not murdered on their farm and profitably, but are shot in the wild. By the way, Pius Benz is a member of the cultural commission of the racist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) Wettingen. So the destruction of the fence hit the right one.

Commercial breeding and killing of deer in Switzerland: Deer breeding has been booming in Switzerland for the past 15 years: as the dairy industry has increasingly fallen into crisis, some farmers have decided to do so. But it remains a niche. The vast majority of deer bred, imprisoned and killed in Switzerland for their meat are fallow deer. Red deer are also bred; in contrast to fallow deer, they also live in the wild in Switzerland. Sika deer are also imprisoned in Swiss enclosures. This originally in Asia occurring genus has expanded meanwhile world-wide and occurs also in individual places in Switzerland. More than 11,000 fallow deer, red deer and sika deer were confined in Swiss enclosures in 2011. The deer calves are born from the beginning of June to the middle of July (in the hunting language they are called the ‘set time’). The animals are shot at the age of 15 to 16 months, when they are ‘ready for slaughter’. The time to kill the deer is in the autumn. When escaped deer give birth to their young in the wild, the probability of returning to the enclosure decreases.

Off to new deeds! It is advisable to visit and destroy breeding farms of red deer (or sika deer), since red deer are native to Switzerland and are not murdered immediately after liberation by the self-proclaimed ‘hunting supervisors’. Since a deer enclosure quickly costs between CHF 8,000 and CHF 10,000 per hectare, it is advisable to destroy the fence. Be careful! The animal exploiters say: ‘We are not allowed to video-supervise the enclosure because it is public property. Even electrifying the fence is not an option. The only way to avoid such incidents in the future would be to carry out regular patrols’. So, before you go into action, patrol yourself the whole area to avoid the patrols of the exploiters.

By the way: The damage of several thousand francs mentioned in the Aargauer Zeitung may not burden the Mooshof too much, because the men don’t seem to lack money; the taxidermist Walter Benz bought stuffed animals for several 100’000 Swiss francs in 2017. At the Mooshof the death of the deer was inevitable, it was their fate. I sincerely hope that some animals will find their way to freedom.