Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

‘Mexico will not finance US wall,’ foreign minister says

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

African nations need to prepare for potential return of thousands of jihadists

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo former child soldiers awarded $10 mn in damages in landmark ruling

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Website roots out "Rotten Apples"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Putin's press conference, Alabama election, One Planet Summit, Brexit Phase II, Disney & Fox

Read more

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

france 24 Europe

Swiss 'sorry' for raiding French lake to help thirsty cows

© Boris Horvat, AFP | Swiss army helicopters have been flying water to cows on the country’s high Alpine pastures in the wake of a record heatwave

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-07-28

Swiss officials have issued a formal apology after it emerged army helicopters had crossed the border with France on Thursday in an unexpected incursion to draw water for thirsty Swiss cows.

The aerial operation to scoop up water caught authorities responsible for Rousses Lake in the Jura mountains by surprise last Thursday. The helicopters also startled swimmers and fishermen enjoying the beaches of the lake in eastern France.

Christophe Mathez, deputy mayor of the Les Rousses commune, said officials had "no idea this operation would occur" - and that the Swiss neither requested authorisation nor warned before descending.

On Monday, local officials in the Vaud canton of Switzerland sent a letter to their counterparts across the border apologising for the incident, which they described as a “misinterpretation” of a bilateral agreement that allows the Swiss air force to fly over France – but not to take its water.

French officials confirmed they received the letter of apology, along with an offer of reimbursement.

The Swiss army has been pumping water for livestock from its own Neuchatel and Joux lakes since last week, according to a statement from the Swiss Department of Defence. The federal government is bankrolling the operation, expected to continue no longer than August 4, with military aid disaster relief funds.

Thirsty cows produce less milk, of particular concern in the mountainous Jura region of France and Switzerland. Dairy farmers there provide milk to producers who make prized cheeses including the French Comté and Morbier varieties as well as the Swiss Tête de Moine.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2015-07-28

  • SWITZERLAND

    Swiss military simulates French attack

    Read more

COMMENT(S)