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Austria warns against cow-kissing internet challenge

AFP  |  Vienna 

The Thursday warned users to an online cow-kissing challenge, calling it a "dangerous nuisance".

A Swiss app called Castl launched the #KuhKussChallenge ("Cow Kiss Challenge") on Wednesday, encouraging users in and other German-speaking countries to kiss cows -- "with or without tongues" -- to raise money for charity.

But Austrian branded the challenge a "dangerous nuisance" in a statement on Thursday.

"Pastures and meadows are not petting zoos -- actions like these could have serious consequences," she added, pointing out that cows could become aggressive when defending their calves.

Balancing the activities of tourists and cattle farmers is a sensitive topic in Austria's mountain regions, with both being key pillars of the region's economy.

In February, a court in the region caused uproar after ordering a to pay 490,000 euros (USD 555,000) in compensation to the widower of a woman who was trampled to death by a herd of his cows in 2014.

The is appealing the verdict and is being supported by Austria's farmers' federation, which has warned of the "end of our mountain pastures" if the verdict is allowed to stand.

The government has tried to prevent such incidents by publishing a "code of conduct" for mountain walkers and hikers, advising them to avoid herds of cows wherever possible.

"Actions like this challenge fly in the face of our efforts to promote co-existence on the pastures. I simply can't understand it," said Koestinger.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 21:56 IST