France horse attacks: Police release man without charge

50-year-old released without charge late on Monday

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A man arrested in northeast France in connection with the mutilation of two horses has been released without charge, police have said.

As reported, the 50-year-old was arrested in the Haut-Rhin department, after an e-fit image was published following an attack on two ponies at an animal refuge in the Yonne.

He was released late on Monday, BFMTV reports. The prosecutor told journalists that the man had an alibi at the time the crime took place.

There have been about 30 attacks on horses this year alone across the whole of France. Monday's arrest had been the first in connection with the incidents, while Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin revealed the same day that 153 investigations, in half the departments of France had been opened. Cases have also previously been reported in both Switzerland and the UK, and officers in France are examining whether there are any lessons to be learned from those deaths - many of which attributed, in the end, to natural causes.

Read more: French police release sketch of horse attacker

Mr Darmanin repeated police warnings to horse owners not to take matters into their own hands, and have said the crimes are the work of 'more than one perpetrator'.

Read more: Map: More horse attacks in France, see areas targeted