Farmer Ordered to Pay $113,000 to Neighbors Because of Smelly and Noisy Cows

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.05 - 2023 7:36 PM CET

A farmer has been ordered to pay 106,000 euros (approximately $113,000) in damages to six of his neighbors who complained about the noise and smell of his cows.

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In recent years, many people have moved from cities to the countryside in search of nature and greenery. However, some find themselves struggling with aspects of rural life, such as the crowing of roosters or the smell of cows. This issue has increasingly affected French farmers, with 490 of them currently involved in legal proceedings related to neighborhood disturbances.

On Monday, December 4, a Renaissance deputy from Morbihan proposed a law to protect farmers against such actions.

According to RTL, Vincent Verschuere, a dairy farmer in France, was ordered to pay $113.000 in damages to his neighbors.

For the past ten years, his modern cowshed has been a source of contention, with neighbors claiming that the cows' odor is unbearable in daily life. "There are the smells, the noise, the mooing of the cows," explains Verschuere. He acknowledges some odor is inevitable but questions the complaints, given the rural setting.

To reduce the noise and smell, Verschuere installed a pit under the building and an electrical system to lessen the noise from the milking parlor, but these measures were deemed insufficient.

Last year, the court ruled in favor of the neighbors, ordering him to pay $113,000 in damages. To cover the costs, the Hauts-de-France region loaned him 40,000 euros, with the remainder covered by a bank loan. Verschuere now fears he may eventually have to give up his farm and cows and end his farming activities.

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