Animals died

Cruelty to animals: trial against winegrower goes ahead

09.07.2024 18:45

A Bregenz winegrower on trial is accused of installing unsuitable bird protection nets in his vineyard. According to activists from the Association Against Animal Factories, the animals died in extreme agony in the nets and reported the 49-year-old to the police. He now has to stand trial for cruelty to animals. 

During the trial at the Feldkirch Regional Court on Tuesday, the 49-year-old winegrower admitted that birds had occasionally become entangled in the nets. However, the man from Bregenz vehemently rejected the accusation that he had used unsuitable bird nets and had not installed them properly.

The Feldkirch public prosecutor's office accuses the winegrower of cruelty to animals. According to the prosecution, numerous birds died in the nets between September and October 2021 and between September and October 2023. The accused thus inflicted unnecessary suffering on the birds.

The winemaker has so far pleaded not guilty. His defense lawyer Florin Reiterer demanded an acquittal.

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The birds die an extremely agonizing death in the nets. They try to free themselves from the nets until they are completely exhausted.

VGT-Campaignerin Sandy P. Peng

The ball was set rolling by a complaint filed by members of the "Verein gegen Tierfabriken" (VGT) with the Bregenz district authority. The animal rights activists had found trapped and dead birds in the more than three-hectare vineyard on Brachsenweg in Bregenz, which was covered in nets. The animals included falcons and various songbirds such as starlings and robins.

The district authority ordered an inspection of the vineyard. The result: eight dead and three live birds, all of which had become entangled in the nets.

Further expert opinions necessary
During the trial, the defendant emphasized that he had even consulted the manufacturer about the suitability of the bird nets. This had been confirmed to him. The accused had previously completed an internship with a winegrower from the German Lake Constance region to ensure that the nets were installed correctly. The trial was adjourned on Tuesday so that further witnesses could be heard and an expert opinion obtained.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

Chantal Dorn
Chantal Dorn
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