GMUND AM TEGERNSEE, Germany, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A German farmer dressed one of his cows in a giant diaper to protest a proposed European Union ban on allowing cows to defecate on steep hills.
The Bavarian Farmers Association held a protest Wednesday to speak out against the proposed regulation, which would ban farmers from allowing cows to do their business on hillsides with a gradient of more than 15 percent.
The association said the ban, designed to keep nitrates from cow dung out of ground waters, would severely restrict grazing areas for Bavarian cows.
Farmer Johann Huber outfitted one of his cows, Doris, with a plastic sheet fashioned into a giant diaper for the protest.
"We have no regular Pampers, the stores don't sell any big enough," Huber told The Local.
Huber said the diapers would not be a practical long-term solution if the EU ban is approved.
Anton Kreitmair, president of the Bavarian Farmers Association for Upper Bavaria, said mountain-based farmers like Huber would be forced to take their herds to the valleys of Bavarian alpine farms to graze.
"In Bavaria alone, more than half of vineyards would no longer be able to fertilize with cow dung and 10 percent of the fields and meadows would no longer farmed," Kreitmair said.
Steffen Schulz, spokesman for the EU Commission in Munich, said the ban is needed because many waterways in Germany have already surpassed the acceptable limit of nitrate contamination as a result of fertilizers entering the water supply.