A German court has ordered an unidentified artist not to go through with his plans to kill a pair of puppies as part of a performance.

The artist planned to strangle two puppies on stage, using cable-ties, and perform a funeral rite for them as a way of protesting the killing of sled dogs in Alaska and hunting dogs in Spain [when they are deemed too old or unfit to work].

According to The Guardian, the artist claimed that the German constitution “unconditionally guarantees artistic freedom,” but was overruled by a Berlin court. Judicial officials said that it is illegal to harm animals during the course of a live performance.