No More Exploding Cows in Austria

In Austria, if a cow dies as a result of illness, lightning strikes, or falling down precipices, the farmer is responsible for the removal and disposal of the animal carcass in order to protect the water and keep the landscape intact. About 20 such deaths occur in the Vorarlberg Alps each year. If the carcass is on an alpine pasture or somewhere that can’t be reached by truck, it can only be removed by means of a transport helicopter. The cost of such removal typically runs about 15,000 Austrian schillings ($1,094.47). That’s why some farmers opt to blow up their cows at a cost of 500 Austrian schillings ($36.48) for dynamite. Now, the Austrian government has banned the practice of blowing up dead cows in Vorarlberg. The small province — nestled between Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Germany — lives off of tourism, and authorities are concerned that tourists might be put off by exploding cadavers and the possible contamination of the water.