- Title: SWITZERLAND: COW FIGHTING SEASON BEGINS IN SMALL MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
- Date: 24th March 1996
- Summary: VETROZ, SWITZERLAND (MARCH 24, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV ZOOM MOUNTAINS, FIELDS AND VILLAGE, COWS FIGHTING 0.08 2. SLV COWS FIGHTING, COW WITH BLOOD ON ITS HEAD, AUDIENCE WATCHING (5 SHOTS) 0.46 3. MV COW BREEDER BASILE FORT SAYING THE COWS GIVE GREAT PLEASURE (FRENCH) 0.58 4. LV COWS LINED UP 1.03 5. MV FARMER LAURENT PILLET SAYING IT'S PART OF THE FOLKLORE (FRENCH) 1.20 6. LV FIGHTING COWS IN RING 1.38 7. MV COWS BEING TESTED FOR DRUGS (3 SHOTS) 1.53 8. LV COWS IN RING 2.04 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA77E6A7POVMUAT9LXWJX0VNNEY
- Location: VETROZ, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Duration: 00:02:05
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: INTRO: In a small village in the Swiss mountains, the sound of cow bells clanking together marks a bizarre competition -- cow fighting.
--------------------------------------------------- The Swiss cow-fighting season officially began on Sunday (March 24) in a small village in the Swiss alps.
More than 5000 people attended the fight in Vetroz where, for the first time, the cattle breeders' union set up a doping control after pressure from animal welfare organisations.
The Worldwide Fund for Nature and local wildlife groups have been campaigning for years to set up an anti-doping control during the fights.
Cow fights have been a tradition in the Swiss Alps for many years but the first official one was set up in 1922, and rapidly became popular in the Canton of Valais.
"It's just a passion here. It brings us a lot of happiness," said Laurent Pillet, a 73 year old farmer.
"Cow fighting is almost sacred," he added, confessing that this activity might have been his main passion in life.
"It's such a pleasure to see your cow fighting, defending and at the end winning. This breed is just great," another breeder said.
Swiss fighting cows belong to a special breed called Herens, a small and reputedly aggressive breed found only in Switzerland and northern Italy.
"We all have our secrets to make them more aggressive, but only natural methods," Basile Fort said.
"Mine, for example, is to add a little bit of wine in the oats, or on bread. And it works fine," he added, smiling.
"This anti-doping control is just a pity," Laurent Pillet said.
"Nobody here would give any bad substance to a cow, we love them too much. But if such controls could make some people happy, let's do controls," he said.
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- Embargoed:8th April 1996 13:00