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15 May 2018

Confusion as Minister resigns, protests anonymous threats to life

The Agriculture and Environment Minister for the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Christina Schulze Foecking, announced her resignation on Tuesday following months of anonymous threats to her life.

Foecking said she was faced with criticisms related to the publication of videos of injured pigs on her family farm.

Announcing her decision in Dusseldorf, the minister said she stood by all the decisions she had taken.

She added, “I experienced threats against my person, my wellbeing and my life in anonymous letters and openly on the internet over recent months and weeks.

“It had gone well beyond what anyone could tolerate.”

In the summer of 2017, videos of pigs on her family farm with bloodied tails and showing signs of neglect appeared on the internet.

A formal investigation was dropped, as there had been no infringement of animal welfare legislation.

Foecking said the price paid by herself and her family was too high for her to continue in office.

She was criticised on account of abolishing an office of environmental crime staffed by just one employee in her ministry.

The office had compiled a file on the family business.

However, Foecking denied the allegations, saying there was connection with political opposition.

(dpa/NAN)

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