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Helping the cows to find their way home

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Helping the cows to find their way home
Photo: Paul Gillingwater
19:08 CET+01:00
A farmer's cows in western Austria will swap their traditional bells for GPS trackers after the owner of a holiday home complained that the noise was irritating his guests.

Some might think the gentle clonk of cowbells is as much a part of the Alpine landscape as soaring peaks and wooden chalets, but the noise drove landlord Günter Frick to bring charges against farmer Engelbert Längle last summer.

The cows were making a "hell of a noise" every time they drank from the metal water trough in a field near his property in the picturesque town of Zwischenwasser in Vorarlberg state, close to the Swiss border, Frick told the court at the time.

But Längle, whose family has been in the farming business for 300 years, insisted the bells had to stay, arguing they were essential in locating his herd.

On Tuesday, the quarreling sides finally came to an amicable arrangement: Frick will fork out 3,000 euros to equip the cows with silent tracking devices.

"I hope the farmer will have a lot of fun with the GPS," he told public broadcaster ORF.

The solution "respects the interests of both parties", commented Längle's lawyer Josef Lerchner.

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