The cows in the dispute. Photo baomoi.com
Chief judge Nguyễn Thành Nhân of Thạch Hà District in central Hà Tĩnh Province has worked in the court for decades. In that time, he has dealt with hundreds of cases, but none more confusing than a dispute over four cows between two local farmers.
baomoi.com reported in late August this year the People's Court of Thạch Hà District brought to trial the dispute between D.H.H, the plaintiff, living in Lưu Sơn Vĩnh Commune, and the defendant, H.S.C residing in Thạch Xuân Commune.
According to the plaintiff, his family had nine cows which roamed free in an open area near his house. He and his brother take the cows to the area in the morning and bring them back home in the evening.
On May 7, he found three cows missing, of which one was eight months pregnant.
Five days later, his son discovered the three missing cows had joined H.S.C’s cow herd in a field of Thạch Xuân District.
He reported to Lưu Sơn Vĩnh Commune and met C and asked for the cows to be returned. But C refused and said they were his missing cows who had returned to the herd.
Then, H decided to sue C.
During the settlement of the dispute, the pregnant cow gave birth to a calf, bringing the number of disputed cows to four, worth a total of nearly VNĐ40 million (US$1,700).
The court offered many solutions to settle the case, including the common traditional practice of awarding the cows to whichever side whose herd attracts the disputed cows, but the two families could not come to an agreement.
Out of options, the judge decided to bring the cows for DNA testing, proving they were owned by the plaintiff. – VNS