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Swiss referendum on whether or not to have bells on cows’ necks

by Afonso
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It is normal for cows to have bells in their throats, and to make twanging noises. But in a village in Switzerland, a strange situation has arisen with cow bells. A referendum is being organized to decide whether the bell will remain or not. The news agency AFP reported this incident.

A complaint was filed earlier this year about the sound level of bells tied around the necks of about 15 cows overnight in a field next to a residential area in the central Swiss village of Arwangen. The complaint was filed by two couples living in an apartment next to the field. They asked the authorities to take action to ensure that the farmers keep the cow bells open at night.

“I was surprised at first when I heard about the complaint,” Arwangen mayor Nicolas Lutzgo Hansi told AFP. I was not aware that cows make so much noise. But now it seems that some people may have been disturbed by this word.

Mayor Nicholas said he was even more surprised by people’s reaction to the allegations. Because the local reaction was very fierce. Locals demanded a vote to preserve the traditional use of the bell.

Under Switzerland’s democracy system, the petitioners needed only 10 percent of the eligible voters in the village of 4,800 to vote. Excluding minors, approximately 380 characters are required. But they appeared with 1 thousand 99 signatures to continue this ancient tradition. Their sole purpose is to maintain the right of farmers to use cow bells for all time.

The initiative was officially presented at a recent municipal meeting. It was decided there should be a vote to resolve the issue. This referendum is going to be held in June. But regardless of the outcome of the villagers’ vote, authorities have the option to order the bells to be removed from cows’ throats at night if they find that the bells exceed acceptable noise levels.


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