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Star stud Mistreated horses sold off at auction

Horse fans gathered in Schönbühl near Bern for a special auction to find new homes for a number of mistreated horses. The star was stud horse Charlie, a rare Swiss breed. (SRF/

In early August, the police in northeastern Switzerland detained a horse dealer suspected of cruelty to animals, and closed down his farm near Lake Constance. About 300 animals, including 90 horses, pigs, cows, sheep, goats and llamas were removed by the Swiss army and taken to a military centre near the city of Bern.

The army's veterinary service has now sold 80 of the horses at auction. In many cases the horses didn't go to the highest bidder, instead buyers were picked in a draw, giving private owners and animal rights groups the chance to re-home some of the animals.

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