Photo: Martin Abegglen
The accused, from Toggenburg in the canton of St Gallen, was angry that a nearby farmer would let his cows wander past his property, trampling the edges of his garden and nibbling at his plants, reported Le Matin on Thursday.
One day, in a fit of rage, he went to get his loaded gun, pointed it at the cows and said he was going to kill them, said the paper.
Although he didn’t carry out his threat, the farmer reported the man's behaviour to the St Gallen authorities. A regional court then found him guilty of threatening behaviour and violating the Swiss weapons law, issuing a suspended fine.
On appeal, the Swiss federal court upheld the judgement, saying it would have been better for the defendant to give the farmer a hand in moving the cows past his property than to threaten to kill them, particularly since the cows wouldn’t understand his threats.
It’s not the first time cow-related problems between neighbours have ended up in a Swiss court.
In 2015 a court ordered a farmer in the Zurich Oberland to remove the bells from his cows at night after a four-year battle with neighbours who complained they were too noisy.