HOKKAIDO (TR) – As it turns out, they do indeed shoot horses.
Hokkaido Prefectural Police have arrested the manager of a breeding farm in the town of Niikappu over the shooting death earlier this year of two race horses, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (July 18).
Police arrested Akihiko Sakaki, the 60-year-old manager of Keiyu Farm, for violating the Swords and Firearms Control Law by using a hunting rifle for a purpose other than hunting.
On February 27, an employee of the farm discovered two dead thoroughbreds with wounds to the head and abdomen. Officers from the Shizunai Police Station arriving at the scene found four empty cartridges from a rifle near one of the horses.
Sakaki admits to the allegations. “I acknowledge doing it but I cannot explain why,” the suspect is quoted by police.
Both animals were one-year-old males. Neither had made its racing debut.
The Keiyu Farm is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Police are now investigating whether that is connected to the shooting.