Bizarre! French Cock, Maurice, wins Legal Battle over ‘Right to Crow’

In a rather outlandish turn, a French court has ruled in favour of a cockerel owner after her bird’s early morning crowing provoked a noise pollution complaint from neighbours.

Maurice, who roosts on the picturesque isle of Oléron off the Atlantic coast, was accused of disturbing a retired couple who own a holiday home nearby.

News of his legal troubles flew around the world, gaining him a flock of supporters.

And following the ruling, the cock’s owner, Corinne Fesseau, was cock-a-hoop at news of his right to crow.

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

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

Ms Fesseau, who has lived on Oléron for 35 years, would have had to move or somehow silence Maurice if the judge had ruled against her.

She now will be given €1,000 (£900; $1,100) in damages from the plaintiffs instead, her lawyer said on Thursday.

The four-year-old rooster has become a celebrity of sorts in France, where the Gallic Cockerel is one of the national emblems.

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

Following the suit, 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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