Let’s hope Christopher Walken doesn’t get a fever in Austria.
A farmer in the Austrian town of Stallhofen has been court-ordered to remove the cowbells from his cattle, Der Spiegel reports. Neighbors of the farmer complained that the ringing of several bovine bells bells kept them awake at night, particularly as the bells clanged against metal feeding troughs.
The farmer, whose name has not been released, argued that the cowbells actually produced a calming noise. He also argued that cowbells are an Austrian tradition.
Judge Erich Kundergraber, however, countered that cowbells are not traditional to residential areas, according to the BBC. Kundergraber visited the small village himself, and noted that the cows were in an enclosed field — there was no need for cowbells.
Cowbells are generally worn by cows that roam over large, open pastures, so that any cow that becomes separated from the herd can be easily found, according to MSN.
On July 17, Kundergraber ruled that “the manner in which the farmer kept his cows was unbearable for his neighbors,” court president Gerhard Goedl told the Austrian Free Press.
This statement upheld an earlier ruling that took place in May, when the farmer’s neighbors originally brought the matter to court. The court had ruled that the cows were “kept in an unacceptably disturbing way . . . that disturbs the nocturnal peace of neighbors,” but the farmer had appealed the decision.
If the farmer refuses to remove the bells, he faces a fine of 100 euros ($120).