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Noisy cows spark outcry from British homeowners in French Alps

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Noisy cows spark outcry from British homeowners in French Alps
AFP
11:22 CEST+02:00
Brits with second homes in a rural district in the south east of France have just about had enough of their noisy neighbours.
But it's not party animals that are disturbing the resident's slumber in the picturesque Alpine village of Biot but instead the neighbourhood cows with their noisy bells. 
 
To express their annoyance at the situation, around 20 residents of the village in the Haute-Savoie - home to a total of 600 people - have signed a petition to have the cows moved. 
 
The petition, signed "only by second home owners" in the village, according to mayor Henri-Victor Tournier, including Brits, Belgians, Corsicans and Parisians, complains of the "noise of the animals on the paths opposite the chalets and apartments of the Corbier hill".
 
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"We understand that we live in the countryside and that there is a long history of cows, sheep and goats in the region," they concede. "Nevertheless, the constant noise of the bells opposite, all through the day and night is unbearable. There are more fields, higher up, where the cows can graze." 
 
In the village situated 30km from Lake Geneva, the cows - who provide the milk for the production of the delicious Reblochon cheese - graze close to the residences, are providing another service to the area.
 
"It costs us €5000-8000 euros to strim the grass, in order for it to be neat. At the moment, the cows graze it for us, it's pleasant...", Tournier told Le Dauphine newspaper.
 
And the mayor plans to stand firm on the issue. 
 
"If the petition came only from people living here all year round, I would understand; but that's not the case," he said.
 
It was Tournier who discovered - after checking the water bills of the people who signed the petition - the only people who had signed were those with second homes. 
 
The cows will not be moved, Tournier has said, adding that there is a major road nearby which "generates more noise". 
 
And apparently for the mayor, "There is no question of banning the bells!"
 
However, he has said he will instead try to solve the problem by investigating the possibility of putting smaller bells on the cows. 
 
And on October 13th the people in favour of moving the cows will be able to present their point of view at the council meeting, he told France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
 
 
 

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