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Alarm cock! Rooster ruling gives rural France something to crow about

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Alarm cock! Rooster ruling gives rural France something to crow about
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A French court has ruled that a rooster called Maurice can continue his dawn crowing despite complaints from neighbours.

Maurice has lived for four years on a small island off France's Atlantic coast called Oleron.

But new neighbour, retired farmer Jean-Louis Biron, who bought a second home there became irritated by his crowing and brought the case to court.

"Maurice won and the plaintiffs must pay his owner €1,000 in damages," said lawyer Julien Papineau, who represented Maurice's owner Corinne Fesseau.

The case has become a symbol of the tensions between the old rural way of life and modern values creeping in from the city.

"Today Maurice has won a battle for the whole of France," said Fesseau.

Maurice's case underscores decades-long tensions in France around city dwellers who buy summer homes in the countryside without being ready to cope with the realities of rural life such as animal noise, odours or insects.

Similar court cases against cows and church bells have been filed in France but none with the same emotive impact as Maurice the rooster, who has elicited letters of support from as far away as in the United States.