A German farmer was handed a suspended sentence Wednesday for fatally neglecting his cattle, leading to the deaths of 160 in a long agonising death.
The judge at the Bavarian court gave the farmer a suspended sentence of one and a half years and a life-long ban on keeping animals.
The public prosecutor’s office accused the farmer of failing to provide adequate feed and water for his approximately 200 beef cattle for months.
Earlier, the defence argued that the farmer acted out of desperation as he was unable to cope with his situation.
The police found the dead animals when they were tipped off in May 2021.
At that point, those that were still alive had to be put down as they were so emaciated.
A psychiatrist certified that the farmer was of diminished capacity at the time.
The farmer’s lawyer told the Ansbach district court that his client had been overburdened for some time with work at his farm, where cattle are fattened, while he was also grappling with family tensions.
“His situation deteriorated dramatically when the pandemic broke out, as he was no longer able to sell the cattle.
“Despair set in at that point,” said lawyer Marc Zenner.
According to the lawyer, the convict became depressed and increasingly turned to drinking.
He said the farmer collapsed at the point that the animals were discovered and was treated by a psychiatrist.