France commune

The decree of the mayor of France legally authorizes noisy cockerels

Pierre Froelig, mayor of the municipality of Saint-Sylvestre, promulgated the decree this month.

It comes after a resident of the town, Daniel Bauquis, was sentenced to € 4,000 – including € 3,000 in damages – after his neighbors sued him for the song allegedly “too loud “of his two roosters.

The neighbors filed a complaint after recording a noise of “37.9 decibels”, according to Mr. Bauquis.

He appealed against the decision of the Annecy court and a petition in his favor collected over 21,000 signatures. The mayor, Mr. Froelig, also defended Mr. Bauquis.

On the petition page, Mr Bauquis wrote: “I don’t know how it got to this point. [The neighbours] never even came to me to discuss the matter directly. “

Mr. Froelig said: “[Mr Bauquis] has had enough of this hassle. People who come to live here must realize that we are in the countryside.

The mayor was initially reluctant to withdraw the decree, as he doubted local authorities could handle it, but ultimately decided to act (although similar cases have shown that decrees of local mayors can be overturned by the courts. in some cases).

The decree specifies: “The well-being of each is based on mutual respect and acceptance of each other’s way of life, with respect for individual freedom … the rural character of the commune of Saint-Sylvestre [and the] noises and inherent irritations that come from country life.

It comes after the international success of the rooster “Maurice Le Coq” from the Ile d’Oléron (Charente-Maritime) headlines earlier this year when a court gave its owner 15 days to abduct or silence him, after neighbors complained that his crows were disturbing their sleep.

The initial decision was then knocked down by a court of Rochefort. This second court rejected the neighbors’ complaint and ordered them to pay € 1,000 in damages to the owner of the animal, Corinne Fesseau, who was finally authorized to keep Maurice.

In a similar case, another rooster – Coco, from Margny-lès-Compiègne in Oise (Hauts-de-France) – was the subject of a popular petition after a court ruled that the bird was too noisy.

He also intervenes two months after the gendarmerie in Indre-et-Loire reported that a resident had called them after hearing “cries for help”, which turned out to be rooster crows from a nearby yard.

Earlier this year, the mayor of another French village called for the sounds of the countryside to be included in the country’s “national heritage”.

Other similar cases have been reported in recent years, including a farmer who was ordered (and refused) to remove cowbells of his flock; a couple from Dordogne who have been ordered to empty their noisy frog pond; and a village that even organized a local referendum on whether to allow church bells ring the bell in the morning after a resident complains.