Courts recognise risks

Courts recognise risks

French courts have recognised the risks of electromagnetic fields in two precedent-setting judgements.

Case 1

The court of Clermont-Ferrand ruled that a 4G mobile antenna on a phone base station be turned off for two months after a dairy farmer claimed that the radiofrequency radiation it emitted was negatively affecting his herd.

Frédéric Salgues, whose farm is located 200m from the base station, said that shortly after the antenna was installed, there was a 15-20% drop in milk production and 20% of his herd died.

In his testimony in the court case, Mayor Philippe Molhérat, described the situation as ‘a catastrophe’ and expressed concerns about the impact of the radiation on the residents of the village.;

Case 2

In a separate judgement, the court of Coutances awarded a dairy farmer compensation for damage to his herd from the fields emitted from a high voltage powerline.

The court ordered electricity company Réseau de transport d'electricité (RTE) to pay Gaec Vauprès 460,000 Euros for problems caused by the powerlines, including loss of milk production.

This is the first time a French court has recognised the link between emissions from powerlines and harmful effects on stock.

In a previous case, the Caen Court of Appeal ordered RTE to pay 200,000 Euros to dairy farmers Yves Larsonneur and Sylvie Hubert for loss of market value of their farm after the company installed electrical pylons on their land. However, this judgment did not take into account the loss of milk production.

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