Last night in France, another horse was attacked with a knife. Since February more than thirty horses have been mutilated or killed there. The series of acts of violence leads to horror among horse owners. The French police call on them not to take the law into their own hands.
The last attack was in the eastern department of Côte d’Or. A man warned the police after seeing lights in his meadow at night. The police jerked off with forty policemen, a tracker dog and a helicopter. One of the man’s horses appeared to have been cut.
The police tell the AFP press agency that they are looking for two suspects. It is unclear whether these are the same persons who are suspected of attacking two ponies in Burgundy. In that assault on 24 August, the owner got into a fight with one of the perpetrators. The man sustained a cut and the perpetrator managed to escape. The police shared a composite photo of the suspect on Facebook.
In most cases, the attacks were carried out with a knife. In addition to horses and ponies, donkeys were also sometimes the victims. An ear off, eyes out, genitals mutilated and in some cases the animals were cut open.
“My weapon is loaded
“We’ve had enough”, said an angry woman Wednesday to a local TV station in Brittany. “My weapon is loaded and I don’t hesitate to shoot if necessary. We shouldn’t be surprised if someone injures or kills one of these individuals. Someone has to protect the horses.”
The authorities strongly advise against looking for the perpetrators on their own. In Brittany, a mother and daughter were arrested after holding two people in a car armed with machetes and air rifles, writes France24. They thought that the two in the car were the attackers, but they reported them to the police. The woman and daughter risk a five-year prison sentence for their action.
Over a hundred reports
Horse owners created an interactive map with an overview of all the attacks and attempted attacks. It now shows more than a hundred reports. Through social media the owners share knowledge and means to protect themselves against the perpetrators.
The motives of the perpetrators are the subject of much speculation. Some suspect the knife attacks are part of a satanic ritual. Another hypothesis is that there’s a criminal organization behind it that deals in horse blood and organs. The police do not rule out that the first attack was a random act and that it is copied by others.