A 15-month-old cow called Carmina mooed so loudly following her mother’s death that a farmer has been fined €300 for breaking Spanish noise laws.
Carmina’s mooing apparently reached 74 decibels, almost 20 decibels above the maximum noise limit of 55. The limit applies when in close proximity to residential properties.
The fine was issued after neighbors in Siero were unable to put up with Carmina’s grieving any longer. An anonymous resident stated that the mooing had continued for weeks in December 2021. This was disputed by the farmer, named Robert Pandiello, who has claimed she could be heard for just “a few days.”
‘We never thought this could happen’
Pandiello responded to the fine with incredulity. He claims that Carmina was mooing due to an expedited weaning process, following her mother having to be “put down.” Pandiello made the statement to local television channel RTPA. However, he did not offer any explanation as to why the mother cow was killed.
Speaking about the fine, he said: “We thought this could never happen because it’s ridiculous; it’s a joke.”
“We had no idea that this could happen. We can justify it from the circumstances, although it seems ridiculous to have to justify the mooing of a cow.”
He went on to state that there have always been farm animals in the rural region. Pandiello is currently considering an appeal.
Cows have ‘unique souls’
Carmina’s noise levels may have been unusual for the area, but grieving cows on farms are not uncommon.
Cows are sentient animals who are thought to be able to remember events in their lives for extended periods. Moreover, they have been shown to be emotionally intelligent, exhibiting behavioral and physiological changes when affected by external stimuli.
PETA reported that cows are able to grieve the loss of loved ones. Alongside mournful mooing, they can cry tears of sadness. The mother-calf bond is thought to be especially strong, with both parties becoming visibly upset when separated. This applies even when the two are apart for a very short period of time.
The individual personalities of cows have been witnessed by many involved in farm animal rescues, including actor Joaquin Phoenix. After helping to rescue two cows from a slaughterhouse in 2020, he commented: “there was clearly a unique soul in there.”