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‘The ducks have won’ – French court says they may keep on quacking

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A neighbour complained that the birds’ racket was making their life a misery.

DAX, France, Nov 19 (Reuters) – The ducks on a small French

smallholding may carry on quacking, a French court ruled on

Tuesday, rejecting a neighbour’s complaint that the birds’

racket was making their life a misery.

The court in the town of Dax ruled that the noise from the

flock of around 60 ducks and geese kept by retired farmer

Dominique Douthe in the foothills of the Pyrenees, southwestern

France, was within acceptable limits, broadcaster France 3 said.

“The ducks have won,” Douthe told Reuters after the court

decision. “I’m very happy because I didn’t want to slaughter my

ducks.”

The complaint was brought by Douthe’s neighbour who moved

from the city around a year ago into a property about 50 metres

(yards) away from the enclosure in the Soustons district where

Douthe keeps her flock.

The dispute is the latest in a series of court cases that

have pitted the traditional way of life in rural France against

modern values which, country-dwellers say, are creeping in from

the city.

In a court ruling in September, a rooster named Maurice was

allowed to continue his dawn crowing, despite complaints from

neighbours who had also moved in from the city.

The neighbour in Soustons, about 700 km (430 miles)

south-west of Paris, who filed the complaint about the quacking

has not been publicly identified.

The neighbour’s lawyer said the noise exceeded permissible

levels, and prevented the plaintiff enjoying their garden or

sleeping with their house windows open.

The neighbour had asked for immediate steps to reduce the

noise, and for 3,500 euros in damages, according to French media

reports.

– Reuters