Cowbells Are “Cruel” And “Send Animals Mad” Animal Activists Say

Animal rights activists in Germany are calling for an end to cowbells because they say they are cruel and send animals mad.

Cow bells tinkling across Alpine pastures is a common feature in the south of the country and farmers say essential for keeping track of their herds. But the German Animal Protection Federation claims the bells send the animals ‘mad’ and that GPS trackers around their necks are more effective in the modern age.

A study published in June by the Federal Technical University in Switzerland found that ‘the behaviour of cows is disturbed by wearing a bell.’

 The Bavarian government, farmers and tourist board have vowed to fight the move. ‘I don’t believe that the bells annoy the cows – neither because of their weight nor their sound,’ state agriculture minister Helmut Brunner said.

Brunner was backed up by the chairman of the Allgäu Alps Farmers’ Association Franz Hange, who called the activists’ demands ‘total nonsense.’ ‘This is a tradition in the Allgäu and part of our identity,’ Franz Hange, who defended the wearing of cowbells.