ould a cow keep its horns to keep its dignity? That is a question being brought to a national vote in Switzerland on Sunday. Most cows here have no horns, either removed by the farmer or are genetically hornless. But the Swiss cow is a national symbol and tourist attraction.
And a self-described rebel kick-started the referendum to stop the practice. Farmer, Armin Capaul, he says, listening to his eight-horned cows inspired his campaign to preserve the dignity of livestock.>>
> Cows give us food, we must respect cows as they are, as they were created. Leave them their horns.
When you look at them, they always hold their head high and proud. When you remove the horns, they are sad.>> Capaul says the horns help cows communicate and regulate their body temperature. A yes vote will give farmers just under $200 per cow per year and Armin hopes reduce the practice.
The process involves burning a sedated calf's horn buds with a red hot iron. Some vets insist it's harmless and many farmers defend it..>> I am against the initiative because our system, with a free stable, has its advantages. The cows get along better with each other. With cows with horns, the danger of injury to the animals and to humans is greater.
>> The government is meanwhile against the campaign. They say it would drain 30 million francs from it's 3 billion franc agricultural budget, the latest poll says the vote is too close to call.