A German farmer is killing his own cows using a high-powered rifle with a silencer so they do not have the stress of being shipped off to the abattoir.
He said that on his farm, which is located in the rural community of Bescheid in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the cows are not only born there, but they die there as well.
Farmer Christian Grommes, 40, said they spend their entire lives on local pastures, and although he believes his method is far more humane, he is nevertheless one of the very few farmers in Germany that kills his animals on his own property.
He said: “In doing so, I spare the animals all the stress of being slaughtered at the abattoir.”
That means that they do not need to be captured and rounded up onto the lorries, or go on a long journey to the abattoir. They also get to die in the herd.
He added: “As far I’m concerned, there is no other alternative than shooting them on the meadow. It’s also the best (death) for the animal.”
Whenever an animal is due to be slaughtered, and later butchered on their own premises, he said that his wife Sarah will place extra food for the herd.
Once they have gathered and started eating, the selected animal is then shot dead with a headshot using a high-powered rifle.
Because the rifle is equipped with a silencer, the rest of the animals often do not even notice, and carry on eating.
The couple currently have up to 60 beef animals from different types including Scottish Highland cattle as well as Brahmousin and Aubrac.
The licensed hunter said that as far as he knew there were around 100 German farmers who use the same method. But there were no firm statistics kept, he said.
Part of the reason is that it is a complicated process, with Sarah, 36, saying that it took around 5 years before they finally had the permission to shoot their own animals.
It was not just about safety, but also about hygiene standards for butchering the corpses. The whole procedure now that they have a licence is considerably cheaper, said the couple.
Once the animals have been killed, they sell the meat directly to customers where it is much in demand because of the fact that it is natural and locally produced.
Christian added: “It would not work for every farmer, it needs to be farms with only small herds and they also need a mobile abattoir.”
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