Nicolas Boucher, owner of Coco the cockerel in Margny-lès-Compiègne in the Oise (Hauts-de-France), launched the petition earlier this month, after the animal was judged by the Compiègne court to be too loud, in a case brought by Mr Boucher’s neighbour.
Named “Save Coco the Margnotine cockerel”, the petition has already received more than 85,600 signatures.
Mr Boucher has also sought to appeal the judgement, which could see him charged €50 per day if he does not get rid of the cockerel permanently. He was also required to pay compensation fees and costs of €600 to his neighbour
The dispute is long-running, and began before Mr Boucher even moved into the house. The property - and the cockerel - originally belonged to Mr Boucher’s grandmother. When she died in July 2017, he bought back the house, and decided to keep Coco.
In contrast to the case of Maurice - who was upsetting holidaymakers unused to the countryside - the complainant neighbour has lived in her property for more than 10 years. She is an air hostess, and therefore sometimes has irregular sleeping hours, including times when she needs to rest during the day.
She had written letters and had repeatedly called Mr Boucher’s grandmother about the cockerel, and threatened to call the police over the noise, which she said made it impossible for her to sleep.
Over the course of the trial, a judge, police officers, and a court clerk visited both properties to observe the cockerel’s behaviour. From the neighbour’s house, they counted 23 “cock-a-doodle-doo” crows from Coco in just 26 minutes.
But Mr Boucher claims that he had already taken steps to avoid disturbing his neighbours too much, including only letting Coco out at 7h30, ensuring that he stays in his yard - which is 25 metres away from any properties - and bringing him in at 20h.
He said: “I have neighbours that are much closer to my house [than that of the complainant] and they attested that the cockerel did not disturb them. But the court did not take them into account.”
He added: “Coco is an animal. And a cockerel - the symbol of France. This is a fight that I am leading for my grandmother. This was her cockerel, and I promised to keep it. He is kind; trained. He always wants to please people.”
As the dispute continues - with the petition still gathering support - Coco is now living with a friend of Mr Boucher, two streets away from the house.
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