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Ruling the roost: Swiss judge imposes crowing schedule on rooster

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Ruling the roost: Swiss judge imposes crowing schedule on rooster
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A Swiss district court imposed a "crowing schedule" on a rooster last month after neighbours complained about the noise.

The rooster is now allowed to be outside and crow to its heart's content from 8 am to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9 am to 10 pm on Sundays.

Outside of these hours, the cockerel has to be kept in a "darkened" place which must be "sufficiently soundproofed" so as to not disturb the neighbours.

Said neighbours, some of whom live just 15 meters away from the defendant's property, had submitted video and audio evidence to the court in which the rooster could be heard crowing on average 10 to around 14 times per hour. In one instance, it could be heard crowing 44 times in an hour or once every 1.5 minutes.

One of the plaintiffs also used an app to measure the noise level with the kitchen window closed. A measurement of 84 decibels was recorded. However, the judge ruled that the evidence submitted was insufficient as the rooster could barely be heard over the "ambient noise" in some of the recordings.

The cockerel's new schedule was determined taking into account the welfare of the animal and the neighbours' interests, the court ruling stated.

It also dismissed the plaintiffs' call for the bird's henhouse — a freestanding structure with an outside enclosure — to be razed, saying that although the property owners did not have a building permit when they erected it, the court had subsequently granted it to them.

The neighbours have, however, reserved the right to proceed against the rooster again if they judge its henhouse is not adequately soundproof.

A similar case is also being heard in Rochefort, southwestern France, with the verdict expected on September 5.

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