Original headline: “50 kor har dött – mjölkbonde släckte mobilmasten”
Published: August 29, 2022
In: Strålskyddsstiftelsen, the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation
The dairy farmer in France who has seen around 50 of his cows die and milk production plummet since a mobile mast was put into operation 200 meters from the farm in the summer of 2021, recently turned off the mobile mast himself. This after a court the day before overturned an earlier court order from May 2022 that the mast should be shut down to study whether the cows’ health improved.
The Radiation Protection Foundation reported in May that dairy farmer Frédéric Salgues had lost 40 cows and experienced a dramatic decline in milk production since a 4G mast was commissioned in July 2021, 200 meters from the farm. After he took the matter to court, the court in Clermont-Ferrand ordered in May that the antennas in the mast should be turned off for a period of two months to study whether the cows’ health improved. According to the decision, the suspension would take place within 3 months. The telecom operators (Bouygues Télécom, Free, SFR and Orange) appealed the decision and on 17 August the Court of Appeal overturned the previous decision and instead ruled that the operators did not have to shut down the mast.
The next day, August 18, Salgues cut off the power to the mast while tens of people and the village mayor were present. The purpose of the measure is to study whether the health of the cows improves if the mast is switched off.
50 cows have died in one year
According to Salgues, approximately 50 cows will have died until August 2022, that is, during only one year with the mast nearby. This in a herd consisting of 200 cows that are among the best in the region. At the same time, milk production has dropped to 10 liters per cow and day from the previous 25-30 litres. The cows have changed behaviour, move abnormally and have other health problems.
The telecom operators’ lawyers had argued in court that there is a lack of scientific evidence that cows are harmed by electromagnetic fields and radiation from cell towers.
That is not true because (although there is surprisingly little research done on the subject) there is research that has shown that calves develop cataracts to an abnormal extent near cell towers. There is also research that shows serious damage to pigs.
On the other hand, there is a complete lack of research showing that cows are not harmed by mobile masts. The telecom operators act clearly to ensure that such knowledge is not obtained.
In June 2022, another French court decided that a farmer should receive damages of 460,000 Euros (about 4.6 million Swedish kronor) due to the damage to the cow herd caused by an EDF power line over many years. Even in this case, milk production had plummeted and the damages include, among other things, compensation for the reduced milk production.
The dairy farmer’s lawyer states that the decision means that it is forbidden to investigate the truth about whether the cows are harmed by the mast or not, which is what the decision from May 2022 was all about.
Just over 15 years ago, Mona Nilsson, today operations manager for the Radiation Protection Foundation, was contacted by a Swedish couple who ran a dairy farm in southern Sweden. Since a mast for 3G was set up about 300 meters from the farm, the cows’ health had greatly deteriorated and they were shedding calves to an abnormal extent. The cows milked worse, ate poorly and did not want to be outside. After a year, the farming couple gave up and sold all the cows. It became impossible to continue the business. The only thing that changed was the mobile mast and the mast is the only thing that can explain the dramatically deteriorated animal health.