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Wisconsin couple sues nearby cannon-blasting farmers

They claim the farmers kept the cannons a secret.
Wisconsin couple sues nearby cannon-blasting farmers
Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 17:45:55-05

Wisconsin residents are suing the owners of a nearby farm who use propane-fueled cannons to protect their crop from blackbirds. 

Jerod Hansen and Cathy Tabor-Hansen claim that Mark Klein, Wendell Klein and Carlton Klein conspired to conceal or suppress their use of the cannons while the Hansens were negotiating to buy a home from Mark Klein, according to the Winona Daily News.

The lawsuit alleges that Mark Klein fired his first real estate agent after the realtor told him he was legally required to disclose the cannon devices that his brother operates on the neighboring farms. 

Wendell Klein said that the scare guns are the only effective method of keeping the blackbirds away from his crops. He claims that the birds damage 95 percent of crops in an unprotected field.

The town's scare gun ordinance requires cannons to be pointed at a minimum of 45 degrees away from the property lines of neighbors. 

They can only be used July 1 through October 1 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The cannons also must be at least 300 feet away from nearby residents.

The Kleins said they have used the cannons to scare blackbirds away from their crops since the 1960s. The cannons sound like shotguns but allegedly aren't lethal to the birds.