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Armed bovine stand-off Man fined for threatening cows with gun

Cows are deemed incapable of understanding threats to kill - even with a gun


A man who waved a loaded revolver at a herd of cows, and threatened to shoot them unless they got off his land, has been fined for violating firearms and public order offences. The court rejected his claim that he was acting in self-defence.

The incident took place in 2014 when a herd of cows repeatedly trampled on the man’s garden and ate his plants in Toggenburg, canton St Gallen in eastern Switzerland. In June, his patience snapped and he pointed his gun at the cows saying he would kill them if they did not leave.

Sentencing the man to a 40-day fine of CHF350 per day, the court said his actions were over-the-top and hardly credible. “No doubt the cows did not understand the threat of the weapon as opposed to making a noise,” the judge said.

The defendant, described by the judge as having a “complicated” character, should instead have helped the herd’s owner move the cows away. The farmer who owned the cattle had lodged a complaint with police after the incident.

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