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Austrian cows swap bells from 'hell' for GPS
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Dec 20, 2016

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 Guenter Frick to bring charges against farmer Engelbert Laengle 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 Laengle, 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 quarrelling 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 Laengle's lawyer Josef Lerchner.

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