Judge rules this rooster can crow as loud as it wishes

The rooster "Maurice" stands at Saint-Pierre-d'Oleron in La Rochelle, western France, on June 5, 2019.[Photo by XAVIER LEOTY / AFP/Getty Images]

Corinne Fesseau poses with her rooster “Maurice” in her garden at Saint-Pierre-d’Oleron in La Rochelle, western France, on June 5, 2019.[Photo by XAVIER LEOTY / AFP/Getty Images]
A French court sided with the owner of the rooster accused of disturbing the early-morning peace.

Corrine Fessau’s neighbors went to court arguing that the rooster, named Maurice, was polluting the environment with its crowing.

Ms. Fessau and Maurice reside in a rural area, the southwestern island of Oleron.

On Thursday, a judge threw out the complaint basically saying that roosters are going to be roosters and the Maurice has the right to crow in its natural, rural environment.

A jubilant Ms. Fesseau was quoted by AFP news agency saying “It’s a victory for everyone in the same situation as me. I hope it will set a precedent for them.”

During the hearing in July, her lawyers had argued the complaint was ridiculous because crowing roosters were part of country life.

If she had lost, Ms. Fesseau, who has lived on Oléron for 35 years, would have had to move or figure out a way to keep Maurice from crowing. But as a result of her legal win, the complainants will now pay her £900/$1,100 in damages.

The legal battle involving the four-year-old bird saw a “Save Maurice” petition garner 140,000 online signatures.

Merchandise has been made in his honour and letters of support have come from as far away as the United States, according to Reuters news agency.

The high-profile case is considered an illustration of the growing tension between residents living in rural France and those moving to escape city life.

“This is the height of intolerance – you have to accept local traditions,” Christophe Sueur, the mayor in Ms Fesseau’s village, told AFP.

The mayor of another town, Bruno Dionis du Sejour, wrote an open letter in May calling for the sounds of rural life – including cows mooing and church bells – to be inscribed on France’s heritage list to protect them against such complaints.

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