A rooster named Pitikok has ruffled feathers in southern France – and is now poised to check the boundaries of the legislation.
A neighbour fed up with the chicken’s crowing has taken the proprietor to court docket. However she may very well be spared a penalty underneath new laws defending the “sensory heritage” of the countryside, from noisy church bells to the odor of farmyard animals.
The rooster’s proprietor within the village of Oursbelille, 95 miles south-west of Toulouse, has confronted repeated complaints and is because of seem in court docket in June.
“It began in 2019. The proprietor of the home subsequent door – who comes solely twice a 12 months on trip – got here to see me and demand that I do away with my rooster,” mentioned the proprietor, who requested to stay nameless.
Makes an attempt to discover a compromise failed, she mentioned, “as a result of the one answer monsieur proposed was that we do away with our animal. That’s out of the query”.
The case recollects a collection of current disputes pitting folks with small farms towards different residents, usually newcomers or vacationers searching for rural tranquillity. In one other bird-based battle that made headlines worldwide, Maurice the rooster and its proprietor in western France emerged victorious from a authorized wrangle with neighbours in September 2019, with judges rejecting claims of disturbing the peace.
However such disputes have been identified to turn out to be violent. Tens of 1000’s of individuals signed a petition in August 2020 in search of justice for Marcel, a rooster shot and killed by a neighbour in Vinzieux, southern France.
Such incidents spurred lawmakers to enact the agricultural heritage legislation in January 2021, enshrining the standing of countryside staples comparable to quacking geese and pre-dawn tractors, in addition to cowbells and cow dung.
“As soon as once more we’re coping with current arrivals who come to the countryside and can’t stand, or barely, these pure sounds,” mentioned Stephane Jaffrain, the lawyer for Pitikok’s proprietor.
The complainant, a pensioner, claims it’s a simple case of extreme disturbance by a neighbour and is in search of €6,000 (about £5,000) in damages at a trial scheduled for 7 June.
“It’s inflicting real struggling for my shopper,” mentioned his lawyer, Anne Bacarat. “He’s battling most cancers and has coronary heart issues and tinnitus.”