Appeals judges in Wisconsin have ruled that an area family does not have a “vested right” to shoot off loud cannons on their property, to scare away birds.
The 3rd District court of appeals rejects arguments by the Wendell Klein family of Trempealeau that local ordinances limiting the ability to use “scare guns” are directed specifically at them.
Neighbors have accused the Kleins of using the cannons to harass them, and of other activities to intimidate critics. The family argues that the noisy, propane-powered cannons have been used to chase birds away from their farm for years.
The Town of Trempealeau passed an ordinance in 2013 to require a permit to use scare guns, and the Kleins challenged that rule in court. The ruling this week came in a court challenge of a second ordinance from 2017, outlawing scare guns in Trempealeau.
The family argues that their farm business is threatened by birds causing damage to their crops.