Swiss farmers have been urged to stop putting bells on their cows in what traditionalists have described as an ‘attack on their culture’.
The village of Aarwangen is located roughly an hour between the two large cities of Bern and Zurich.
It only has a population of 4,700 people but that has increased significantly in recent years and not all blow-ins have the same values as the locals.
In Switzerland, farmers usually tie cow bells around the necks of their cattle so they can find them easily.
Many people consider the tinkling sound of the bells as very much part of Swiss culture but others consider it extremely irritating.
“This is where the problem started,” BBC journalist Imogen Foulkes told Moncrieff.
“The people who have pressured city jobs [think], ‘I’m going to get myself a house in one of these lovely little villages’ [and realise], ‘Oh no, there’s cows outside my bedroom window day and night, dinging away.’
“Those cow bells, charming though they sound from a distance, can be quite noisy close up.”
Farmers declined to take the bells off the cows after the complaint and many of the newcomers feel increasingly angry about the situation.
“You know how villages can be,” Ms Foulkes said.
“It’s harder to stay anonymous in a village, so they did complain to families apparently.
“They complained to the village council and there’s also a federal law in Switzerland about noise levels.
“If somebody complains, the police are required to come and measure the decibel level.”
The results of the police investigation have not been made public but many locals are unhappy that there was a complaint to begin with.
“They say this is an attack on our lived culture, tradition and identity and we want it protected,” Ms Foulkes said.
Some villagers want cowbells to be a part of village life “forever” but other parts of Switzerland now take a more pragmatic approach to the issue.
“There are Swiss villages who have already agreed that they will remove the cow bells at night,” Ms Foulkes said.
“Because they are deemed to be too noisy for the local residents.
“There are other who have given up on bells altogether because the original, practical reason for them - to keep track of your cows - isn’t there anymore because your cows are all electronically chipped.”
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Main image: Cows in Engleberg, Switzerland. Picture by: Alamy.com