Vegan Denied Swiss Passport Over ‘Annoying’ Campaign Against Cowbells

  1. Home
  2. World
By Kieran Corcoran | 7:21 am, January 11, 2017

A vegan campaigner has had her application for a Swiss passport denied because of her “annoying” campaign against the traditional bells worn by local cattle.

Nancy Holten, 42, asked the authorities in the village of Gipf-Oberfrick to let her become a naturalised citizen.

Holten is Dutch, but has lived in Switzerland most of her life, speaks fluent Swiss German and her children are Swiss citizens.

However, local residents decided that her frequent, vocal campaigns against local traditions mean she did not deserve to become a naturalised citizen.

Most prominently, Holten has opposed local farmers attaching traditional cowbells to their cattle – claiming the practice is cruel.

According to MailOnline, as part of her activism she has said: “The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy.

“The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.”

She has also claimed that the noise from the bells hurts the cows’ ears. It is a number of anti-farming and fur campaigns, which has also seen her pose topless with her cat:

Under Switzerland’s system of extremely local democracy, a meeting of local residents was asked to vote on her application to become a naturalized citizen.

They rejected it by 200 votes to 60, the Swiss newspaper 24Heures reported.

A local government spokesman said the application was rejected because Holten keeping “rebelling against traditional things”, making people wonder why she even wants to be Swiss.

In an interview with, he said: “Nancy Holten very often expresses her personal opinion in the media, and also gathers media coverage for rebelling against traditional [Swiss] things within the village.

“If someone is so much in the spotlight and rebels against things that are accepted in the local community, it can cause the community to not want such a person in their midst.”

Holten responded, saying she has the freedom to express any opinion she wants and “will not stop for the sake of a Swiss passport”.

Featured image via Rutger Tuller/Flickr