Germany: Animal suffering is weighty state of emergency, says a judge in Germany. Three animal activists from ARIWA are free!

In the USA there would be attempts under ‘Ag Gag’ to punish those who obtain such evidence really hard.  Fortunately the German judicial system knows that the video footage obtained is for the good of the public, and should not be allowed to continue behind closed doors, as the industry wish.

22.02.2018 Naumburg, Germany: In the fully occupied courtroom of the Higher Regional Court Naumburg and in front of the doors, the verdict was greeted by animal welfare supporters with applause storms.

Earlier, the presiding judge of the 2nd Criminal Senate Gerd Henss had pointed out clearly that only the illegal filming had made public what conditions prevailed in the pig farm of the “van Gennip Tierzuchtanlagen” in the north of Saxony-Anhalt.

And: The animal rights activists had exposed a scandal and received as a receipt criminal proceedings. The animal welfare is in the present case to be valued higher than that of the house, which is why the lower court, the three animal rights activists of Animal Rights Watch acquitted legally, said court spokesman Henning Haberland.


“The Senate has considered the accused acts justified and stated in very clear terms that animal welfare is a legal matter superior to the injured home.”

Only because of trespassing revealed the grievances

The three animal rights activists – two men and one woman – had made it clear again in short statements that they only wanted to draw attention to the animal rights violations. Relieved, the Hamburg Jürgen Foss showed that he says he has been involved in animal welfare for 25 years.

“We were – I think I can speak for the three of us – very surprised, with which clarity the judge finally expressed our approach, which confirms that we are all on the right path, that is, bit by bit something moves, in the sense of the animals. ”

In 2013, Jürgen Foß and two other animal rights activists illegally invaded a pig farm with around 60,000 animals in Sandbeiendorf in northern Saxony-Anhalt and filmed grievances. In the pictures of the video you can see porked and fixed pigs. Apathetic, they lie in much too small metal bays in which the animals hardly move, not even their limbs can reach out. There’s no straw, instead the pigs live on bare concrete floors in filthy stables from GDR times.

Many of the over-bred piglets can not even stand, the legs slip over and over again.

We should all be happy, Judge Gerd Henss said literally, that the defendants had uncovered the grievances. Without the filming, Henss continued, it would never come to an investigation. It was the only way to force the authorities to act. Henss even speaks in this case of the fact that the veterinary authorities had covered up the grievances for a long time. However, it warns that the acquittal is not a license for – Quote – “self-proclaimed animal rights activists who break into stables illegally”.

“It requires certain knowledge that there are grievances there” ,so Hennig Haberland, the spokesman of the Naumburg Higher Regional Court.

So, only if animal rights activists had advance precise indications that would be violated against the animal welfare, only then one may penetrate into stables illegally and document the situation cinematically.

The acquittal of the animal rights activists is the first judgment, which was ever so pleased by a higher regional court in Germany, continued Haberland. Attorney-at-law Maria Ascheberg, on the other hand, accepted the verdict with a petrified expression, she had demanded a new trial.

The farmers are worried and dissatisfied with the verdict: “Now everyone could come in, break in and say they just want to work for animal welfare”, says a pet owner.
”The animal activists wanted to unsettle our industry. The verdict is a farce” says the spokesman for the farmers’ Saxony-Anhalt Farmers Association Christian Apprecht.

“So the rule of law turns out to be an indictment that it trusts its authorities so little and leaves so little responsibility, that he has to rely on third parties, that he does his job, that can not be.

Responsible for the pig farm in Sandbeiendorf in the Altmark, is the native of Utrecht family van Gennip, it is one of the largest pig farmers in Germany. She had sued the three animal rights activists for trespassing.

The prosecution had demanded fines between 300 and 800 euros.

But after the film shootings of the animal rights activists, the authorities were forced to act.

According to the Magdeburg Ministry of Agriculture, there have been several inspections since 2013 and conditions have been imposed.

For Saxony-Anhalt’s Agriculture Minister Claudia Dalbert of the Greens, the judgment of the Naumburg Higher Regional Court is groundbreaking.

The federal government is now called upon to ensure that!


Best regards to all




See the disturbing video footage here – but a ‘must see’ to witness the abuses that were filmed.





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