Three years ago, Maurice the rooster on the island of Oléron became the emblem of rurality after its owner won the lawsuit against a neighbor who accused the animal of noise pollution. Today, history repeats itself in Oursbelille, in the Hautes-Pyrénées. Pitikok is the target of a disgruntled resident, disturbed in his daily life by chicken crocodiles.
“It all started in 2019. The owner of the neighboring house, which his wife inherited, who comes two months a year on vacation to Oursbelille, came to find me accompanied by two witnesses, who are not even from the village, to tell me to call him. me to get rid of my cock”, declares to our colleagues from La Dépêche du Midi Alexandra, 39, owner of the rooster.
A few days later, the young woman received a formal notification by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. “do whatever it takes to end these annoyances”. In other words, to stop your pet’s songs.
€6,000 in damages
Alexandra doesn’t understand the procedural attitude of her neighbor, a 76-year-old retired policeman who lives in the house only in the summer and who, for the rest of the year, stays in Clermont-Ferrand. “Once again, we have neo-rurals who come to the countryside, and who do not support, or little, sounds that are natural”defends Me Stéphane Jaffrain, attorney for the owner of Pitikok.
“For my client, it’s a real pain”guarantees Me Anne Bacarat, lawyer for the retiree. He has cancer, heart problems, tinnitus and wears a hearing aid.” Your client has already filed a complaint against another neighbor who also owns a rooster, which has since died.
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As for Galo Maurício, it was not possible to reach an agreement between the parties in order to avoid the trial. “There was a conciliation between the three parties, but it was a failure, because the only solution that you offer is that we get rid of our animal”, regrets Alexandra, summoned before the court of Tarbes.
For her, “there’s no doubt !”.
In addition, the plaintiff claims €6,000 for moral damages, as well as €100 per day of delay from the date of conviction, if any.
Noise pollution or natural sound?
Every year, several complaints of this type, against cicadas singing too loudly, bells ringing are recorded. “In this case, it is a question of demonstrating that there is no abnormality in the disturbance that Pitikok’s crowing can generate, because it is a normal disturbance in the field to hear a rooster crow”explains Me Stéphane Jaffrain.
The lawyer adds that his client did things in the rules to take in the animal. In February 2019, she asked the village mayor, Henri Fatta, for permission to have a small farm with about fifteen chickens and a rooster, to which the elected official responded favorably.
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The Pitikok case will be heard at a civil hearing at the Tarbes court on June 7. If noise pollution can be condemned under article R 1334-31 of the Public Health Code, roosters are a special case recently.
The controversy caused by the complaint against the owners of the Maurice rooster on the island of Oléron, reported by the international press, led deputies to vote in January 2021 on a bill that introduces the notion of “sensory heritage” of the countryside into French law.
In the name of coexistence in rural areas, it protects the crowing of the rooster, as well as that of cicadas or the smell of dung. It could thus protect Alexandra from a sentence, or even force the author to pay compensation to the owner, as was the case with the rooster Maurício.
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