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French farmers say their cattle are dying from electricity generated by wind turbines, solar panels

Herds reportedly depleted due to exposure from both the land and water

JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images

Cattle farmers in France say their stock are dying off from exposure to electricity generated by nearby wind turbines and solar panels, blaming lethal levels of volts through the ground and water sources for their losses.

What are the details?

When a number of cattlemen in Cotes-d'Armor, Brittany, noticed unexplained weight loss and death occurring in their herds, veterinarians couldn't offer any explanation. So the farmers ran tests on their land, and determined that electrical currents from nearby wind turbines and solar panels were exposing their cows to energy at levels "three times the accepted threshold for animals," the Daily Mail reported.

Local farmer Patrick Le Nechet claims the mysterious deaths began after the installation of new photovoltaic solar panels near his land. He told French radio station Europe 1, "There is a lot of direct current coming into the earth. When we see all the animals die, it is untenable," according to the Mail.

Some herds in Cotes-d'Armor have dwindled by the hundreds in recent years, allegedly because of electricity emitted by antennas, transformers, and turbines. Farmers from nearby Pays de la Loire have also reported losses of animals near wind turbines, and a farmer from Val de Saone, in Rhone, blamed electrical currents for harming the health and behavior of his stock two years ago.

The Val de Saone farmer reportedly told Le Progres, "When there are power spikes, some cows gather in one corner, others start to limp, calves that felt good the day before, die."

Anything else?

Thibaut Bouchut of France's Sanitary Defense Group reportedly explained that cattle are much more vulnerable to electrical currents than people, saying, "The human body has an electrical resistance of 1,500 Ohms, while the cows, only 500 Ohms, not to mention that they are not separated from the ground by rubber soles.

"Breeders are not always aware of electrical disturbances," Bouchut continued, "and sometimes the seemingly unexplained problems they face discourage them, even if they are competent. Farms close down because of that."

One last thing…
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