Cockerel crows on after French court ruling

Judge rejects lawsuit demanding bird is silenced

A cockerel can continue crowing after a judge rejected a lawsuit filed by second-home owners next door.

As reported, the neighbours - retirees from Haute-Vienne -  had filed a noise pollution complaint about the noise caused by the bird, called Maurice, on the Île d'Oléron. They said that the cockerel disturbed their sleep with its early-morning calls and that the court give Maurice's owner 15 days to remove the animal or silence it.

Read more: Another French cockerel owner fights noise ruling

Their lawyer had rejected any city-versus-country comparison, saying his clients lived in an area of Saint-Pierre-d'Oléron, that is zoned for housing. "It's not the countryside," he said.

The town is home to 7,000 permanent residents, rising to 35,000 during the summer months.

But the court in Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, rejected their complaint - and said that they should pay €1,000 in damages to the animal's owner, Corinne Fesseau.

Earlier this year, the mayor of another French village called for the sounds of the countryside to be listed as part of the country's 'national heritage'. A few months later, another village official posted warning signs for visitors.

In November 2017, a farmer in the Haute-Loire faced prosecution after he refused to comply with an order to remove the bells from his herd of cows. A month later, a Dordogne couple were told to empty their pond after neighbours complained about the noise made by frogs.

Elsewhere, villagers voted in a local referendum to keep early morning church bells ringing following a complaint from one resident.

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