Why do the bells make this noise

Noises in the country : Court ruled in favor of cows and their bells

The smell of manure, willow flies, cows and then the tinkling of their bells - country life is not only idyllic. At least not necessarily in front of your own window. That is why a couple from Holzkirchen in Upper Bavaria have been arguing with a farmer's wife for years. Because when the couple bought the exclusive property in a picturesque location on the outskirts, no cows were grazing next door. But then the community leased the pasture to the farmer's wife. Since then, nobody has found peace - although neither side wants anything else. The couple complains about the cowbells ringing at night - and the farmer Regina Killer also wishes "that finally there is amal a Ruah".

It is the second dismissal

On Thursday, the farmer, who runs a family business with around three dozen cows, was once again right in court: The Munich II district court dismissed the noise-sensitive wife's complaint. In 2017, her husband, who owns the exclusive property, failed in the court of first instance. The woman is not the owner of the property, justified the presiding judge Christiane Karrasch the renewed dismissal of the complaint. In that case, the wife could not have any further claims than her husband as the owner. The court also doubted that the use of pasture places an excessive burden on the neighbors - and did not consider it to be "unusual for the location," as the wife argued. In 2018 it was only about five cows with four bells over six weeks and eight cows with six bells over four and a half weeks, listed judge Karrasch.

Bookkeeping including number of cows and bells

The wife had meticulously kept a record of this - and reported the number of cows and bells with the exact date at the start of the trial in November. The bells tinkled at night too, she couldn't sleep, she complained at the time. At first the farmer was asked "very friendly", "very calmly" and "very politely", "if she could please remove the bells". The farmer's wife only advised ear plugs. “At least it is a stage win,” said farmer Killer after the verdict. Because of the dispute, she only went tobogganing (fertilizing) twice and sent her cows as rarely as possible to the controversial pasture. It is required everywhere that the animals should not be in the barn, but should graze outside, in order to ensure that they are kept appropriately. “The dairies demand it, the consumer demands it - and they want to forbid it to me. That's a joke. "

The cows should ideally go along with them

The husband had failed with his crusade against the cowbells before the Munich II district court, not least because of a settlement he had concluded with the farmer's wife in 2015. The court referred again to this comparison. Accordingly, cows with bells should only graze in the part of the pasture that is at least 20 meters away. But it was still too loud for the couple. It even brought electronic cowbells into play through his lawyer Peter Hartherz. According to experts, however, such models were only tested in more detail in Bavaria last summer and have not yet been commercially available. Of course, the couple would prefer not only to have the bells gone, but also the cows - if only because of the "vermin" and the flies that buzz around the cows. The wife had not only sued against the farmer, but also against the community, which leased the approximately one-hectare pasture property.

Cows are just part of it

At the start of the trial, Mayor Olaf von Löwis (CSU) referred to the fundamental importance of the case. It is about the definition of appropriate agriculture and, for the farmer, about earning a living. "We are of course very satisfied with the result and the extensive justification given by the court," he said now. Cows in the pasture and liquid manure in the fields were part of this in rural areas. He hoped that there would soon be a satisfactory solution for everyone. "Of course, I am always ready to sit down at the table with everyone involved and look for a solution like this," he offered. But it doesn't look like an amicable settlement. The husband is waiting for the second instance before the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Munich. The woman is unlikely to stand still either. Attorney Hartherz let it be known that he wanted to wait for the reasons for the judgment before deciding on an appeal - but probably pull it as far as the Federal Court of Justice. (dpa)

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