A French court has recently pushed for a measure to determine if nearby 4G cell phone towers are harming the health of cows.
The owners of the livestock have indicated that the animals are feeding less, suffering from disease, and producing less milk since the installation of the towers.
Farmer Frédéric Salgues from Haute-Loire asserts that his cows’ are suffering immeasurably as a result of a cell phone tower that was commissioned by Orange on June 28, 2021.
“I can see from my tractor that they are all skin and bones. It’s enough to make you cry.” Salgues commented.
As a result of Salgues’ fears for the health and safety of his animals, the administrative court in Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) took action to order the switch-off of the tower.
The court said that “it is appropriate to order the temporary cessation of the operation of this antenna for a period of two months, taking into account its general impact, with monitoring, by the judicial expert, of the behaviour of the herd, and of the dairy cows in particular, during this period”.
The phone company, Orange has three months to follow through on the order, which not only includes shutting down the nearby antenna but also ensuring phone connectivity for its customers in the impacted area.
Mr. Salgues has been incredibly distressed over the health and wellbeing of his herd. “They are all thin,” he said. “They don’t get up at night to eat, and they hardly drink at all. And this one, which stays completely still with her jaw stuck on the side and her head down, you can see this is not normal behavior!” Then he added, “These cows, they are sad.”
Now, the goal will be to conduct an assessment to “establish a potential causal link between the behavior of the cattle and this antenna,” as per the administrative court. “A significant drop in the quality and quantity of milk produced, a serious disruption in the herd’s behavior and voluntary denutrition, and abnormally high deaths” are among the issues highlighted.
Following the ruling, Mr. Salgues told the AFP that he hoped his cows would be able to “recover as soon as possible” and called the case ruling “a major relief and a victory”.