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MAINZ, Germany - Two cows wore extra-large custom-made diapers as a German farmer staged a protest against European Union rules this week. Regulations forbid manure from areas with a gradient of more than 15 per cent in a bid to prevent groundwater from being polluted with nitrate from fertilizer. Bavarian dairy farmer Johann Huber is among those who fear enforcing that will limit their use of steep hillsides. But Steffen Schulz, a spokesman for the European Commission, told NBC News that cows would not be banned from their pastures. “We are not concerned about the cows but about the active fertilization by farmers,” he said. “Throughout Germany and Bavaria the amount of nitrate in groundwater is already above the regulation’s limits in many places.”

- Carlo Angerer