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Austria toughens rules for tourists after cows kill hiker

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Tourists who roam Austria’s alpine pastures will have to adhere to a code of conduct in the future, the government said on Monday.

“If they don’t follow the code, they face legal consequences,’’ Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference in Vienna.

Austria’s farmers have been up in arms since February, when an Innsbruck court ruled that a mountain farmer neglected to fence in his cows, which were so irritated by a German tourist’s dog in 2014 that they killed the woman.

“We don’t want mountain pastures to be completely fenced off or closed. We therefore have to inform people about the behaviour of wild and farm animals,’’ Sustainability and Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger said.

The code of conduct will especially tell hikers how to handle their dogs.

Mother cows with calves sometimes feel they have to defend their calves against dogs.

Although owners should keep them on a leash, they must let them loose if cows come charging, according to the Austrian Alpine Club.

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