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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

French law upholds cows' right to moo in countryside

Any countryside work being conducted legally in France before new neighbours move in will be allowed to continue - and animals can moo or crow away.

Urbanites seeking peace and quiet in the bucolic French countryside will in future have greater difficulty in taking farmers to court over crowing roosters, mooing cows and stinking pigs after parliament passed a new law.

Farmers carrying out their legitimate traditional tasks will be protected under the new legislation passed late on Monday.

City dwellers moving to the country will no longer be able to take their neighbours to court on account of noises in the dead of night from rattling tractors or work in the local bakery, if the work is legitimate.

Hundreds of conflicts with neighbours over noise and stench have overburdened local courts, which will now have their workload eased.

The case of a dairy farmer ordered to pay his neighbours 100,000 euro ($A165,000) and convert his barn made headlines.

In 2019, a court ruled in favour of the rooster Maurice, which was allowed to continue crowing despite complaints from the neighbours, holiday home owners who felt their rights had been infringed.

From now on, all countryside work being conducted legally before the new neighbours move in will be allowed to continue.

An earlier law was passed in 2021 that aimed to define the so-called "sensory heritage" of the French countryside and to protect it. This includes the noises and smells characteristic of natural areas and farmland.


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